Pradesh Congress Committee president Botcha Satyanaryana on Tuesday said that he would not hesitate to append his signature on any number of petitions to the Centre in support of a united Andhra Pradesh.

“By putting my signature on the petition seeking to keep the State united is not defying the Central leadership. It is the fervent appeal of the people and leaders of Seemandhra region to keep the State united. As a person born in that region, I will certainly back the united AP demand,” he categorically stated at a press conference.

Mr. Satyanarayana said a strong wave of anger was visible in Seemandhra region against the decision to divide the State. “As a Congress leader, it is my duty to bring to the notice of the high command the prevailing mood of the people against bifurcation. We have to respect their sentiment,” he said and appealed to people of all the regions to observe restraint and refrain from indulging in clashes and untoward incidents.

The PCC president said the Congress had taken a decision to divide the State because other political parties had given in writing that they were not against bifurcation. These parties were now backing out and blaming the Congress for division,” he said.

He denied that there was any link between the CWC’s decision to bifurcate the State and defections of Congress MLAs to the YSRC. “Those who are deserting us were with the YSR Congress earlier before coming into our fold. They are returning to YSRC with ulterior motives,” he said.

The PCC chief hailed the passage of the historic Food Security Bill in Lok Sabha and hoped that showed Congress party’s commitment to the poor.