‘Dissolution of the Assembly the only way out now’

T.G. Venkatesh, Minister for Minor Irrigation and a strong proponent of Greater Rayalaseema, observed that dissolution of Assembly was the only way out in the given circumstance to make the last ditch efforts to stop bifurcation.

In an interview to The Hindu after his return from New Delhi on Tuesday, he said the ball was in the court of Delhi and no amount of ruckus either in Hyderabad or respective districts would make an impact.

According to him, the judgment on the State division was reserved by the high command of the Congress party and lobbying or protests should be made only in New Delhi.

Mr. Venkatesh referred to the court verdict in the case of Maharashtra division wherein the ratification by the Assembly was made mandatory. The opinion of constitutional experts was being solicited on the weight carried by the Assembly resolution.

He called upon people and leaders to demonstrate wisdom in the hour of crisis and work for promoting local interests.

He said the issue became sensitive as demanding capital for Kurnool would amount to ratifying the division, but remaining silent would cause irreparable damage to the city and the region.

There was no fair play in the game as demands were put forward for setting up capital at Vijayawada-Guntur or Visakhapatnam. But nobody bothered about restoring the capital status to Kurnool from where it was shifted in 1956.

Any indifference at the moment would jeopardise the interests of future generations, he felt.

Mr. Venkatesh, who was critical of the respective stand of parties, said the parties had no consensus on bifurcation and the leaders were pushing their own individual agenda. He feared that the interests of Rayalaseema and Kurnool might be jeopardised if the same trend continued as the subject has neither been on the agenda of parties nor has been of any interest to the high command.

He questioned the rationale behind local activists targeting the long-term protagonists of Rayalaseema like him and rallying behind the new entrants. He wondered why there was no unanimity of opinion among Rayalaseema leaders over their future.

Mr. Venkatesh, who was bogged down under certain limitations on account of his position in the Cabinet, still offered his service to further the interests of Rayalaseema and Kurnool.