“The Telangana statehood issue is not in my hands. The Centre has to take a decision on the statehood issue and I will abide by the decision taken by the Union government,” Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy said on Saturday evening.

The Chief Minister visited Bheemadevarapalli mandal on Saturday to participate in various developmental programmes and the launching of “Amma Hastham” programme. He also visited Vangara village, the native of former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and paid floral tributes by unveiling his statue in the village. He also visited Narasimha Rao’s ancestral house and interacted with family members.

Though the public meeting was being conducted peacefully, Karimnagar MP Ponnam Prabhakar created a flutter by raising the statehood issue and appealing to the Chief Minister and PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana to ensure the formation of a separate Telangana State. He also raised the slogan of “Jai Telangana”, which was reciprocated by the audience amid cheers.

Later when PCC president B. Satyanarayana started speaking, a section of women too raised the “Jai Telangana” slogan. However, Mr. Satyanarayana completed his speech by stating that the womenfolk of Karimnagar district had set a milestone in the State by taking up record procurement of paddy from farmers through IKP centres.

Later, addressing the mammoth gathering, the Chief Minister clarified the question raised by the MP on the Bayyaram iron ore issue. He said that the government had signed an MOU with Rashtriya Ispaat Nigam Limited to set up a steel plant at the site where the iron ore would be extracted. He flayed opposition parties for politicising the issue.

The Chief Minister also launched a scathing attack against TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu for neglecting the welfare of over 2 crore SC and STs by not attending Assembly to debate the Sub-Plan. He also ridiculed the TDP and YSRC for opposing the “Amma Hastham” programme, which was aimed to benefit the poorer sections by supplying essentials at a cheaper rate.

Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated the AP social welfare residential hostel and police station building in Vangara village and also a 132\33 kva sub-station in Mulkanoor village.