Chief Minister reminds Sonia, Rahul, Antony panel about risks involved in bifurcation

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy is said to have reiterated his stand of keeping the State united at any cost and asked the Antony Committee what was the point in creating Telangana just for a few seats that the Congress may get in the region in the next Lok Sabha/Assembly polls.

Instead, if the State was kept united, the Congress could definitely get a minimum of 20-25 Lok Sabha seats and there was a possibility of retaining power too, in Andhra Pradesh. The creation of Telangana would only help the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) to claim that the new State had been carved out only because of them. Similarly, the CPI and the BJP would try to take advantage in the poll, Mr. Kiran Reddy said.

The Chief Minister, who met the Antony Committee on Tuesday night and Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday morning, expressed his reservation on the party’s decision to go ahead with the process of creating Telangana. He told them that, besides affecting the law and order, the decision to create a new State would aggravate problems in sharing of Krishna and Godavari river waters, distribution of power and the future of government employees in both the States.

It is learnt that the party leadership had asked Mr. Kiran Reddy to give his views in a detailed report and include suggestions that could enable the party to wriggle out of the imbroglio, vis-à-vis decision to form Telangana.

Informed sources said some Congress leaders had made a new suggestion before the committee for creating Rayala-Telangana with all the four districts of Rayalaseema (Chittoor, Kadapa, Kurnool and Anantapur), instead of merging only Kurnool and Anantapur, as suggested by some of them earlier, as this would help the organisation to break the stir in the region and give the TRS a political fight.

On the law and order and naxalism issues, the Chief Minister is said to have pointed out to the Centre/Congress high command that if Telangana State was formed, the Maoists may force any government coming to power to take a lenient view towards them and thereby re-establish themselves in the region within no time.

The atmosphere would become conducive for that as seen in the neighbouring States such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.

The Telangana State, which would be small in size with limited resources of law enforcement, might not be effective in countering the growth of naxalism. There was also the possibility of resurgence of naxalism in both the new States as both would end up with limited resources.

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