Senior Congress leader and Union Human Resources Development Minister M. M. Pallam Raju said on Sunday that the party could go ahead with its decision to create Telangana if it wanted “to finish off the Congress in Seemandhra.”
“If that is the wish of the Congress leadership and [if the party] wants to have its future in Seemandhra a la Tamil Nadu, let it go ahead with the process [of creating Telangana] against the wishes and sentiments of the Telugu speaking people,” he said, talking to The Hindu on the phone from Hyderabad. Mr. Raju said the situation was so grave in Seemandhra that elected representatives were unable to go to their constituencies.
“Daily, there is a dharna in front of my house in Kakinada, and my effigies are being burnt by people angry at the decision the party had taken without proper consultations…” What was the need for such a “hasty decision” without proper debates on the recommendations of the Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee, which had come out against Telangana.
Mr. Raju asked the party to take steps to contain the situation at the earliest as the agitation for a united Andhra Pradesh was intensifying every day. He also reminded the leadership of the assurance given by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi — after an agitation for a separate Andhra — that the State would never be divided.
As for Hyderabad, he said the people of Andhra Pradesh attached a lot of importance to the city, which remained the capital for the past 57 years, and how would they accept a new capital? “It is not Telangana which is being made a new State, but it is Seemandhra as the people [here] have to search for a new capital now.”