Telugu Desam Party president and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi in Chennai on Thursday and briefed them of his position on the issue of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
He called upon the President to invite representatives of the two regions, Seemandhra and Telangana, for negotiations and solve the problem amicably. Mr.Naidu, who first called on Ms.Jayalalithaa around 11.45 a.m., spoke to reporters outside the Poes Garden residence of the Chief Minister. He emphasised the need for rendering justice to both regions. “Both people (people in the regions of Seemandhra and Telangana) should be happy,” he said.
Pointing out that even in the past States had been bifurcated, Mr.Naidu said due process was followed in such instances. The bifurcation was carried out on the basis of reports of the States Re-organisation Commission or certain committees. Referring to the way in which the State of Andhra was created out of the composite province of Madras in 1953, the former Chief Minister said it was only after building a consensus that the decision was taken and implemented.
In the present case, the Congress, he said, was trying to get the bifurcation done by “violating the federal spirit.” He accused Congress of playing “dirty politics.” The party did not take any action on the issue for the last 10 years but it was now seeking to get legislation passed in a “hurry.” He added that “for (electoral) seats and votes, you cannot destroy the community. You cannot play with lives of people,” wondering what was the guarantee that other States too would not suffer the same way.
Refusing to get drawn into questions whether he supported Telangana or not, Mr.Naidu, who was the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister between 1995 and 2004, acknowledged that there existed a sentiment in Telangana but the entire issue had to be handled in a judicious manner.
Asked about the stand of Ms.Jayalalithaa, he said she was particular that justice be done to the two sides.
Mr.Naidu, who went to the DMK headquarters around 1 p.m. and met Mr.Karunanidhi and other DMK leaders, complained that Congress was engaged in “match fixing.” Now, it was backed by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and after the (Lok Sabha and Assembly) elections (in Andhra Pradesh), it would take the support of YSR Congress.
Describing Mr. Karunanidhi as a champion of “federalism,” Mr.Naidu said the DMK leader had assured him that he was for protecting the federal spirit. To a question whether his opposition to the use of Article 3 was akin to that of Jaganmohan Reddy of the YSR Congress, the TDP leader replied that unlike his party, the presence of the YSR Congress was limited to Seemandhra and “in a way, he (Mr.Reddy) wants immediate bifurcation.”