It was the voice of Rayalaseema that dominated the debate in the Legislative Council on Wednesday when members from the region cutting across party lines rejected the draft bifurcation Bill as it would result in untold misery to the most backward region of the State.

Focusing on serious injustice being meted out to the people of the drought-prone region with no water resources or industries, they said people of Rayalaseema who sacrificed their capital Kurnool were once again being shown the door.

With faith in gentlemen’s agreement, Rayalaseema people believed Hyderabad was capital of all Telugu people but they would have to find their moorings all over again, said P. Samanthakamani of TDP and Sudhakar Babu and Sheikh Hussain (Congress).

Hyderabad was transformed into a vibrant metropolis in 15 lakh acres with contribution from all regions for 60 years. It could not be separated from Seemandhra, they said.

Opposing the A.P State Reorganisation Bill as a thoughtless and ill-conceived and only aimed at serving the interest of some selfish leaders, Ms. Samanthakamani said the Bill offered nothing to address concerns of Rayalaseema region. Would the Centre make it a special State too?

If Telangana was projected as backward region, then how could one even describe the drought –stricken Anantapur and other Rayalaseema districts . Historically people migrated to where water was available and settled, she said.

Mr. Sudhakar Babu said Rayalaseema-based Chief Ministers were at the helm for over 27 years yet they developed other 19 districts. The 1969 and 1972 agitations were far more serious agitations yet Telugu people overcame their differences. There was no alternative to development of all the regions than the Telugu people remaining united.

‘Division not a solution’

K.S.Laxman Rao (PDF) said the Centre’s decision to promote small states would well lead to disintegration of the country. Division was not solution to development of backward areas in all the regions, he said.