Special Correspondent

While TRS hails it, Telugu Desam surprised at BJP's shift in stand

HYDERABAD: The commitment to separate Telangana expressed by BJP president Rajnath Singh evoked mixed reactions in political circles on Sunday.

YSR declines comment

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who was on a tour of Karimnagar, refused to comment as the Congress had left the issue to AICC president Sonia Gandhi. He merely said that the State Government would develop the region on all fronts. The Telugu Desam said its stand on separate Telangana had not changed. It had always held that the development of the region was possible only in a unified State. The party's deputy leader in Assembly, N. Janardhan Reddy, expressed surprise over shifting of stand by the BJP. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) welcomed Mr. Singh's statement and said this was an indication for Congress to move a Bill on Statehood for Telangana in Parliament. The Congress was morally bound to get the Bill passed like in the case of the Legislative Council, now that a majority support in the Parliament was assured. The TRS floor leader in Assembly, G. Vijayarama Rao, said they were not perturbed by Mr. Singh's refusal to join hands with them. They were only interested in creation of a separate Telangana. It was immaterial how the objective was achieved.

Reiterating the BJP's stand, its spokesman, Prakash Javadekar, who was in city wanted the UPA Government at the Centre to initiate the Constitutional procedures required for the creation of a separate State. "Once the Bill on Telangana is introduced in the Parliament, the UPA should not have fears of their motion getting defeated."

Pranab flayed

Mr. Javadekar criticised the UPA sub-committee chairman and Union Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, for claiming that the process came to a halt due to lack of response from the BJP.

"Let Mr. Mukherjee come out clear on whether the Congress has given its letter to the sub-committee on Telangana," he asked.

More In: Today's Paper