Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Andhra and Rayalaseema Telugu Desam leaders on Monday forcefully argued that comprehensive development covering all backward districts was possible only with united Andhra Pradesh.

Selfish politicians

During a three- hour long meeting with the Srikrishna Committee that included a power- point presentation, the leaders asserted that the linguistically and culturally, Telugus were one for centuries and that the demand for separate Telangana was only raised by a few selfish politicians.

The leaders who made the presentation included K. Yerran Naidu, Y. Ramakrishnudu, Umareddy Venkateswarlu, Lal Jan Basha, Dadi Veerabhadra Rao, S. Chandramohan Reddy, K. Rammohan Rao and Durga. They said they were satisfied as they were able to convince the committee members over the need for maintaining the State intact. They contended that the committee members were impressed by their presentation and gave an hour more than the allotted time.

At a press conference later, Mr. Yerran Naidu and Mr. Ramakrishnudu said they put forward the view that Telangana was never a separate state for centuries by showing a 15 {+t} {+h} century map.

It was for only for 65 years that the State was separate during the rule of the Nizams and that the development and growth rate in Telangana districts was much more after formation of the State in 1956.

They debunked the demand for self-rule saying all through, the State was ruled by Telugu leaders themselves unlike in other southern States. A language has several dialects and that should not be the basis for formation of States.

When the committee members referred to the vertical region-wise split in the party and the president, N. Chandrababu Naidu's comment comparing two regions with his two eyes, they told them that this was triggered by the Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram's statement on December 9.

Sentiments

It was Congress that created this problem and it had to end it. No party could be oblivious to the sentiments and emotions of the people of each region and the party president gave the freedom to the people's representatives to voice them.