The UPA government should constitute a Telangana regional council for social, economic and regional development as suggested by Justice Srikrishna Commission, without bifurcating the State, District Intellectuals’ Forum president M. Vivekananda Reddy said on Tuesday. The UPA government and some leaders of Telangana were playing with the sentiments of the people of Seemandhra who were peacefully and democratically agitating for the united State, he said. They pushed the peaceful State into turmoil by raking up a problem and causing hardships to farmers, students and unemployed, he alleged. Major political parties were responsible for the turmoil, economic crisis and loss of lives, he added. Backwardness and drought were prevalent in all the regions. Out of 3.53 lakh hectares of cultivable land, water availability was difficult for 1.96 lakh hectares and bore wells were not yielding water even at depths of 1,000 feet. Owing to drought conditions, farmers were migrating to neighbouring States, he said.

About 11 per cent of jobs were available in Rayalaseema, whereas 57 per cent of jobs were available in Telangana. Industrial workers constituted 26 per cent in Rayalaseema and 41 per cent in Telangana. Mr. Vivekananda Reddy recalled the assertion of Chief Minister for Combined Madras State C. Rajagopalachari in 1952 that Rayalaseema would become the most-drought-prone region in the country, if it was comprehensively developed. However, the region lacked industrial growth, even mineral-based industries, despite abundant mineral wealth.

Andhra Pradesh need not be bifurcated but should be developed and leaders should quit their posts, shed their selfish interests and participate in the people’s movement.

Students of Pushpagiri School burnt portraits of AICC president Sonia Gandhi and TRS president K. Chandrasekhara Rao at Seven Roads junction here.