Ashok Babu says Telangana sentiment prevails only in four districts while integrationists are a major force in the rest of the State

The prospects of division of the State are slim considering the political atmosphere prevailing at the Centre, said P. Ashok Babu, president of APNGOs Association and leader of integrationist movement.

Addressing the ‘Save Andhra Pradesh’ meeting at Kurnool here on Sunday night, he said the frequent uttering of Congress leader Digvijay Singh had no relevance but termed it only a political gimmick. Creation of separate State was not in the hands of TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao either. The integrationists were well aware that the decision was in the hands of New Delhi and they knew pretty well how to manipulate it, he said.

If the Congress went ahead despite the surging public movement in Seemandhra, it was bound to pay a heavy price. According to him, the Joint Action Committee of AP Parirakshana Samithi would meet today to chalk out a strategy to avert the division of State which might include exerting pressure on the MPs to resign from their seats.

He clarified that the leadership had no political ambitions except bearing the responsibility of keeping the State together. The movement would support only those political parties that declared unequivocal support to united Andhra Pradesh. However, the movement would not lean towards any political party or the leaders for the time being. Mr. Ashok Babu said Telangana sentiment was visible only in four districts while integrationists were a major force in the remaining districts to which they would reach out soon. He assured a group of supporters from Mahabubnagar district that a meeting would be organised soon in Telangana region. Accusing the TRS leaders for propagating lies, he announced that Andhra people had held Telangana counterparts in high esteem and treated them as symbols of love, affection and innocence. A section of migrant ruling class was fomenting trouble in the region for their political power. Mr. Babu offered to mediate for creating a political space for TRS in unified Andhra Pradesh if they were willing.

NGO leader Chandrasekhar Reddy, Vengal Reddy, Chalasani Sreenivas, Christopher and others spoke.