Asad tells AICC leaders not to divide State as it would strengthen the BJP and communal forces

MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi has made it clear in no uncertain terms that his party was opposed to bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

“Our party’s consistent stand is against division of State. The idea of Rayala-Telangana, including some districts of Rayalaseema is not acceptable to us. We are for united Andhra Pradesh. We feel that bifurcation will strengthen the BJP and communal forces,” the MIM MP reportedly told top Congress leaders who telephoned him on Friday afternoon before the Core Committee meeting.

At least two influential AICC leaders contacted Mr. Owaisi to seek his final view on the statehood issue. Making his opposition to bifurcation abundantly clear, the MP said the Centre should not take any decision on the status of Hyderabad without consulting the MIM, which he claimed was a force to reckon with.

‘Situation is bad’

Later, he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC chief Sonia Gandhi drawing their attention to the telephone calls by senior Congress leaders. He said the minorities’ interests would be adversely affected if the State was divided and the Congress would totally forfeit their support in Telangana as well as in Rayalaseema.

“The situation is already bad for Muslims and their condition will get worse if Telangana is created,” he reportedly said in the letter and added that the MIM was prepared to take on communal forces.

All-party meet sought

Mr. Asaduddin said that if the Congress still decided to divide the Sate, it would forego the support of the Muslims.

He demanded that the UPA government should take its allies and friendly parties into confidence and also hold a meeting of all parties that are represented in the Parliament as bifurcation had nationwide ramification.

Later, he addressed the Friday congregation at Hahifa Mosque in Azampura where he reiterated his party’s stand on the statehood issue.