Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Saturday said in clear-cut terms that bifurcation of the existing State to create Telangana would be against the interests of Telugus and that he was not convinced on the Centre’s move to go ahead with the division.

“I have not changed my stance. I am not convinced (on Telangana formation),” he stated at a press conference here after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh along with a delegation of Ministers to seek Central assistance for people affected by cyclone ‘Phailin’, and floods. The Prime Minister sanctioned an immediate relief of Rs.1,000 crore to the State. Union HRD Minister M.M. Pallam Raju, who has submitted his resignation to the Prime Minister protesting against formation of Telangana, said he was not comfortable with the pace at which the Telangana formation process was carried on. It was not done in a proper way, he claimed.

Special Correspondent from Hyderabad adds: Mr. Kiran Reddy said the observations made by AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh that he was convinced about the division of the State may have been made in his personal capacity. He said a whole lot of issues needed to be settled before going ahead with the process of bifurcation. He clarified that he never tried to run down the aspirations of the people of Telangana. “I was always saying that if bifurcation takes place, Telangana will be a major loser,” he said.

Flanked by PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana and Central Ministers -- Mr. Pallam Raju and Panabaka Lakshmi -- the Chief Minister reiterated his argument that there would be all-round development only in a united State. Andhra Pradesh would lose immensely if it was bifurcated.

“All that I want is the Centre should reconsider the decision,” he said adding that issues such as river water sharing, health, education, employment and irrigation projects had to be settled before the process of division was taken up.