The Congress decision to bifurcate the State is unjustified and impracticable and amounted to reversal of the policies and spirit of former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, former Minister R. Rajagopala Reddy said on Friday.
Questioning the need for bifurcation of the State merely bowing to the demand of Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K. Chandrasekhar Rao and to “satisfy the selfish interests of some politicians”, Mr. Rajagopala Reddy cautioned at a media conference here that the Congress would lose heavily if the linguistic State was divided.
The Congress leadership had opened the Pandora’s Box with its hasty pro-bifurcation decision. It would have an adverse impact not only on the State but on the entire country and affect the Congress’ prospects by loss of Parliament seats. The Congress would go strong only when the State was united, he said.
Remarking that AICC president Sonia Gandhi was being misguided by leaders around her, he said he would write a letter to Ms. Gandhi to drop the bifurcation move. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was a silent spectator to the happenings, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh was “ignorant” and Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony had no voice, he asserted. He wondered how a four-man committee in which none can understand Telugu, elicit opinions of the people of Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions.
Ms. Sonia Gandhi would not lose face by reconsidering the decision, he said and wanted Andhra Pradesh continued as an integrated State. The former Minister suggested that the Chief Ministership could be promised to the Telangana region for about a decade and Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy could be made Chief Minister as he was a learned and experienced politician.
Terming creation of smaller States such as Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand as a historical mistake, Mr. Rajagopala Reddy hailed the bold and correct stand taken by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, proving that interests of the State was more important to him than his post. The State can be developed by according priority to agriculture and irrigation sectors, he said.