AICC president Sonia Gandhi tried to win the hearts of people of Telangana by vowing to stand by them in reconstruction of the 29th State of the country.

“The time of struggle is over and now the time has come to have a responsible government. The Congress alone can do it and it has the conviction to take every section along with it. On the other hand, the TRS holds out threats and warnings,” Ms. Gandhi said at a rally organised by the Congress here on Wednesday. By visiting Karimnagar, she fulfilled her vow given in the 2004 elections to create a separate State of Telangana.

Ms. Gandhi in her 14-minute brief speech gave full credit to the Congress for creating Telangana, exposing the role played by other parties. She claimed that the TRS had no role in formation of the new State. She assured the people of two States about the party’s commitment for all-round development and cautioned people about the communal forces. She wanted people of Telangana to extend a hand of friendship to those from Seemandhra.

The Congress chief began by saying that people of the region had waited for 60 long years for fulfilment of their dreams. “On this occasion, I have come here to join the celebrations. I salute the families of all the martyrs, who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of statehood,” she said.

She said creation of the new State had been delayed because the Congress could not achieve consensus. “Even though it took time, we succeeded,” she said, pointing out that people of the two States were close to her heart. “I want to see that whatever promises I had made for the people of Seemandhra are fulfilled and I will never disappoint them,” she added. Stating that creation of Telangana was a matter of conviction and pledge given to the people, Ms. Gandhi said without the Congress a separate State would not have been formed. “It is the Congress that decided to create Telanagna and prepared a Bill. The Congress got it passed in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. At the last minute, the BJP opposed it in the Rajya Sabha. The TDP too opposed it in Lok Sabha while the YSR Congress tried to stop it,” she said.

Singling out the TRS, Ms. Gandhi said that party had no role in creation and passage of the Bill. She said much before the TRS was born in 2001, 40 Congress MLAs at a meeting in Mahabubnagar had passed a resolution supporting Telangana and sent to her.

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