BJP leader N.Venkaiah Naidu appealed to the leaders and students on fast over Telangana to give up their hunger strike. “You [the fasting leaders] have brought it [the issue] to the notice of the Government of India and the people. Lives are important. All issues can be sorted out through political discussions,” he told presspersons here.
Passions were running high and though the Congress party was in power at the Centre and the State, there was nothing it had done so far to solve the issue. “Even Congressmen are on fast. Against whom are they fasting,” he asked and said that the people of the country should not be pitted against each other. He reminded that Andhra Pradesh would be the loser if the stalemate prolongs in the State.
When the BJP was in power at the Centre, it had also divided bigger States such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. “At that time also there were protests. But we initiated dialogues with all groups and found an amicable solution,” he said and added that in the case of Telangana, it was the hasty decision of the Centre that was to blame. No one was consulted; not even the Congress party in Andhra Pradesh. “The Chief Minister is on record saying that he was not consulted… The Central government has to find a way out,” he said.
Asked if the same dichotomy of views persisted between the BJP in the State and at the Centre, he said that the BJP was not a big political force in Andhra Pradesh.
On price rise, he accused the Central government of not doing anything and pointing “skywards” for all problems. Everyone was aware that the price of petroleum products had a cascading effect on all prices. He pointed out that when the BJP was in power, it had reduced prices of petroleum products to control price rise. He accused the Congress government of reducing prices of petroleum products closer to the elections and increasing it soon after the elections.