Votaries of separate State urged not to lower guard till the last minute

The creation of a new Telangana State by this December and people of both States going to the polls for separate Assemblies in April 2014, was a certainty, said T-Congress leaders here on Tuesday.

However, it was imperative for champions of the separate State to remain vigilant till the last moment, said Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, Panchayat Raj Minister K. Jana Reddy and Information Minister D.K. Aruna, at a 'thanksgiving' rally organised here on Tuesday, the second after the one at Bodhan in Nizambad district earlier this month.

Good turnout

There was a large turnout of people at the 'Theru maidanam', the grounds where the chariot of the Chennakesavaswamy temple is pulled by devotees during festivals.

Two Union Ministers -- Sarve Satyanarayana and Balram Naik, nine State Ministers, seven Members of Parliament and over two dozen MLAs gathered here to express their gratitude to AICC president Sonia Gandhi and said in one voice that people of the region were indebted to her for the boon.

In the same breath, they said it was only the Congress that could take the credit for making this six and a half decades-old dream come true. Practically every one of the about two dozen speakers lashed out the Telugu Desam and the YSR Congress for misleading people.

Mr. Rajanarasimha said now that Telangana had become a certainty, it was time for people to chalk out an action plan as to the kind of Telangana they wanted.

It had to be one in which they could live with self-respect, where they would be free of slavery, with economic and social empowerment and where emphasis should be on education, health and infrastructure, he added.

Mr. Jana Reddy said the time had come for people to remain united for developing the new State, by supporting the Congress. Making a specific reference to the Dummugudem irrigation project, he said it was important for it to be put on hold till the bifurcation was complete.

Among Ministers present were N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, D. Sridhar Babu, Sunita Lakshma Reddy, P. Sudershan Reddy, G. Prasad Kumar and B. Saraiah and Ponnala Lakshmaiah. MPs included V. Hanumantha Rao, Rajaiah, Palvai Govardhan Reddy, Anjan Kumar Yadav, K. Rajagopal Reddy, Ponnam Prabhakar, and Gutha Sukhender Reddy,

Former PCC President D. Srinivas lashed out at Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy for being distinctly ungrateful, changing his tack after enjoying being in power for so long. “It is sad considering that Mr. Reddy's entire family have been loyal Congress men for decades,” he said.

Mahbubnagar District Congress president Obaidullah Kotwal welcomed the gathering.