AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh has expressed optimism that the A.P. Reorganisation Bill would be passed in Parliament before the next general elections.
Responding to queries by reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday, Mr. Singh said the Bill was expected to come up for discussion during the special session of Parliament, likely next month.
“It is a commitment given by all parties. Other parties supported formation of Telangana, but went back later. The Congress cannot go back on the promise it gave to the people,” he said.
Asked whether TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s reluctance to merge his party was delaying the process, he said the Congress would not mix governance with politics. The promise formed part of the party manifesto accepted by Telangana and Seemandhra leaders.
On the Seemandhra MLAs’ plan to submit affidavits against bifurcation, he said it was better for the legislators to air their concerns by participating in the debate so that their grievances could be redressed. “I have no problem if they want to submit affidavits,” he said.
He refused to comment on the reports of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy planning to float a new party, claiming, “Ask him.” On the latter’s claims that there was still a long way to go, he said Mr. Kiran Reddy was a cricketer and would know better about when the last ball would be bowled. Meanwhile, Mr. Rao showered praise on Sonia Gandhi stating that but for her decisiveness statehood to Telangana would not have been possible.
“We (Telangana people) know that it is because of Ms. Gandhi that Telangana is becoming possible,” he said adding that “we also know how to respect her on achieving ‘sampoorna’ Telangana.”
Speaking at a diary release function, the TRS president cautioned Telangana people to be vigilant as Seemandhra leaders, including N. Chandrababu Naidu, Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, K. Sambasiva Rao, M.M. Pallam Raju, L. Rajagopal, and Mr. Kiran Reddy, were trying to obstruct the formation of Telangana.
Asking the people to get ready for another struggle if the Centre failed to give ‘sampoorna’ Telangana, Mr. Rao requested the Congress MPs from the region to maintain pressure on their leadership till justice is done to Telangana in the final Bill.
“What is the use in having statehood to the region with all sorts of restrictions after decades of struggle,” he said.