Kavuri, a staunch integrationist, changes tack; to abide by Centre’s decision

Former PCC president D. Srinivas has said hopes that the Centre would make an announcement favouring creation of a separate Telangana State were growing among the leaders of the region.

In a marked departure from his tendency of steering clear of speaking on sensitive issues, Mr. Srinivas on Friday was forthcoming on the high command’s thinking on the statehood issue. His observations assume significance in wake of his recent meeting with AICC leaders in New Delhi.

Stating that Telangana was a “50-year-old dream” of the people of the region, Mr. Srinivas said the high command appeared to be a in a mood to fulfil the wish. “The situation prevailing after December 9 and now is quite different. The Centre may announce its decision without wasting further time,” he observed.

The former PCC chief noted that though the State may be geographically be bifurcated, there would be emotional bonding among the Telugu-speaking people of the three regions. He said division would benefit everyone and expressed confidence that both the States would become frontrunners in development. He said he expected the meeting being organised here by Congress leaders from Telangana on June 30 to be a success.

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Textiles Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, a staunch votary of united Andhra Pradesh, made certain crucial observations on the statehood issue. On his maiden visit to the city after assuming charge as Union Minister, Mr. Rao said he would abide by whatever decision the high command took on Telangana.

Mr. Rao said: “Everyone knows my stand on the statehood issue and I need not spell it out again,” he said, adding that as a Union Minister, he was not expected to agitate like a village sarpanch. At the same time, he said some time, every one has to go for compromise on one or the other issue. He denied having changed his stand on Telangana because of the Cabinet berth.

The Union Minister made it clear that he would not attend the Seemandhra Congress leaders’ meeting held during the day. There was surprise in Congress circles from Seemandhra, in wake of the subdued and guarded response on the Telangana issue by Mr. Rao.