Amid a growing chorus for smaller states after the Centre’s decision to create a separate Telangana, former president A P J Abdul Kalam has said the wishes of the people of the region should be given priority while deciding on such issues.

“Till the economic condition of the states improves, the country cannot progress. I feel the people of the region concerned should decide what is good for them,” Mr. Kalam told reporters here last night.

On the issue of new states like Telangana, he said, “It is quite difficult for me to say whether this or that state should be created or not. According to me, we should see what the aspirations of the people of the region are concerned. We should give importance to their wishes.”

Mr. Kalam felt that “politics of development” rather than “politics of politics” would be useful for the common man.

“Several young leaders are coming up in the country. I want that the whole political system should now be geared towards politics of development,” he said.

To a question, he said the rate of economic growth has slightly declined due to the meltdown, but the situation is gradually improving.

“If we can take the GDP growth to 10 per cent and keep the same level for next 10 years then the Mission 2020 will be fulfilled,” the former president said.

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