Special correspondent

Digvijay Singh says BJP is issueless and friendless in Andhra PradeshIn last elections the party made no mention of statehood, he says Congress has always been consistent on the issue

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Thursday described the BJP's support to the demand for a separate Telengana as double speak and political opportunism.

The recent remarks by BJP senior leader L K Advani were aimed at creating fissures in the UPA on the Telengana issue, party General Secretary Digvijay Singh said.

Charge against BJP

The BJP was "issueless and friendless" in Andhra Pradesh and so wanted to exploit the sentiments of the people of the region, "whom they have ignored during their association with TDP". "The BJP is known for its double speak and political opportunism" he said in a signed statement, adding "it is very surprising that the party is now supporting the demand for Telengana.

The last elections they contested along with TDP, they did not even mention Telengana".

`Promise not kept'

He said that the saffron party did promise creation of a separate Telengana in its election manifesto during the 1998 parliamentary elections.

"But in spite of that and being in power at the Centre, they did not keep their promise." He said the Congress on the other hand had always been consistent on its stand of the socio-economic development of the Telengana region.

"We had mentioned it in our election manifesto also. The process of consultation and arriving at a consensus among UPA partners is already on, and decision will be taken once Pranab Mukherjee's report is submitted to the UPA," he said.

Recently Mr. Advani had publicly told the UPA constituent TRS, spearheading the separate Telengana movement, that it should come out of the ruling alliance if it failed to bring the bill on Telengana issue in the next session of Parliament.