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Tuesday, June 05, 2001

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25 Cong. MLAs pledge support for Telangana

By S. Nagesh Kumar

WANAPARTI, JUNE 4. Congress-I leaders from Telangana asserted here on Monday that only the Congress-I with the support of its 140 MPs was in a position to achieve separate statehood for the region.

Addressing a largely attended pubic meeting here this evening, they stated that neither the TDP with 28 MPs nor the newly formed TRS could fulfil the aspirations of Telangana people. They claimed credit for reviving the defunct Telangana issue by making a representation to the AICC president, Ms. Sonia Gandhi, raising the issue in the Assembly and visiting various sites of irrigation projects.

They held that the TRS chief, Mr. K. Chandrasekhar Rao, was able to attract people only because people were in favour of Telangana and not because of his contribution to the cause. People turned up in large numbers at this first ever public rally, organised by the Telangana Congress Legislators' Forum, named `Palamuru Prajagarjana.' But many of them became restive over the repetitive and dreary speeches by over two dozen leaders. Some 25 Congress MLAs attended the meeting presided over by Mr. Mallikharjun, former PCC president, who was in the forefront of Telangana agitation in 1969.

All the MLAs took a public pledge to work for separate Telangana because it was the only solution for development of the backward region. They said they were prepared for any sacrifice in their fight for separate Telangana. They observed silence for a minute as homage to martyrs of the Telangana agitation in 1969.

The theme of the speeches was that the Andhra region had managed to grab a lion's share of Krishna and Godavari water and that the Chief Minister was now offering sops to Telangana in the form of Inchampalli without any allocation of water, central clearance, funds or even the primary survey.

The convener of the Telangana Congress Legislators Forum, Mr. A.Indrakaran Reddy, said that Congress-I would supply free power to farmers if separate statehood was achieved. He said that experts had vouchsafed this was possible if pending irrigation projects in Telangana were completed. Mr. Mallikharjun said that the demand for separate Telangana had to be revived because of the complete violation of the six-point formula which he had opposed in the 1970's itself, but was prevailed upon to accept it by the late Indira Gandhi and Mr. K. C. Pant.

Expressing confidence that the Congress high command would accept their demand, he asked it not to give into the pressure by the Congress leaders of the Andhra region.

Dr. G. Chinna Reddy the CLP secretary, said that Telangana could be achieved only if the people taught a fitting lesson to the CM who had left a string of broken promises to develop Telangana, particularly Mahbubnagar district, which he had offered to adopt. Mr. J. Krishna Rao, MLA, charged the TRS chief Mr. Rao with adopting an arrogant attitude towards other parties as he nursed an ambition of becoming Chief Minister of Telangana.

Ms. Savita Indra Reddy attacked the Home Minister for his reported statement that Telangana did not possess a strong leader and urged people to prevent him from touring the region.

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