The ‘Jai Andhra’ slogan is back.
As the struggle for a separate Telangana state is gathering momentum, leaders who took part in the Jai Andhra movement way back in the early 1970s have once again started raising the slogan seeking a separate Andhra state.
First to raise the call for a separate state is the current chairman of Andhra Pradesh Co-operative Central Bank and former Home Minister Vasantha Nageswara Rao.
Former MP and senior leader of Praja Rajyam party (PRP) Chegondi Harirama Jogaiah also quit his party to join the Jai Andhra movement.
In Vijayawada, activists performed ‘ksheerabhishekam’ (pouring of milk) on the statue of late Kakani Venkata Ratnam, the spearhead of the Jai Andhra movement, and raised slogans demanding a separate Andhra state.
“When people of Telangana region want a separate state, let Andhra Pradesh be divided amicably. We shall get separated as good brothers without any misgivings or prejudices,” Mr. Rao said.
Mr. Jogaiah responded to Mr. Rao’s call and said he was ready to join the movement. He protested the PRP’s stand supporting the separate Telangana statehood demand.
“I can’t work in PRP when it is supporting Telangana state. Hence I have decided to quit and join the Jai Andhra movement,” Mr. Jogaiah said.
As of now, the leaders say no specific course of action has been chalked out for taking the demand for separate state forward. “We want to achieve Andhra state through peaceful means. And we are mustering support for that,” Mr. Rao said.
Many Congress MPs hailing from the coastal Andhra region have expressed support to the ‘Jai Andhra’ cause while other leaders are expected to join them soon.
Interestingly, all the leaders who are now espousing the separate state cause were in favour of a unified state.
But, with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti turning the separate Telangana demand into a violent agitation and attacking Andhra people and their properties, the coastal leaders too have decided to revive the Jai Andhra movement.
“Why should we bear the insults,” Mr. Rao asked.