‘Appoint a leader from the region as Deputy Chief Minister’

HYDERABAD: Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Nadendla Bhaskara Rao has favoured appointment of a Telangana leader as Deputy Chief Minister to ensure that the region got its due share of power.

“Such a practice of appointing a Deputy Chief Minister from a region other than that represented by the Chief Minister existed earlier but was discontinued over the years,” he said.

“Rat race”

Speaking to this correspondent, Mr. Bhaskara Rao expressed concern over the “rat race” among political parties on Telangana without understanding the complications involved in the issue.

Being one of the founders of the Telugu Desam Party in 1981-82, he said he could say without hesitation that it was founded for protecting the interests of Telugu-speaking people with a strong commitment to a united Andhra Pradesh. “But, it is most unfortunate that TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu is joining hands with the separatists,” he said.

Plea to parties

Mr. Bhaskara Rao appealed to all parties to observe a “moratorium” on separate Telangana issue till the next elections as their harping on Telangana was borne out of the opposition to one individual (Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy).

“But, this animosity should not lead to division of the State to which the people are opposed,” he said citing the recent byelections in which people rejected the Telangana Rashtra Samiti that sought a vote for a separate State.

He said the Congress was in favour of second States Reorganisation Commission and AICC president Sonia Gandhi asked the NDA to constitute it. But her request was rejected by the then Union Home Minister L. K. Advani. He advised the party’s (senior) leaders to desist from airing their views on the issue as the party was in support of the 2nd SRC.

Dialogue

He recalled that several senior leaders from Telangana like Madapati Hanumantha Rao, Burugula Ramakrishna and Paga Pulla Reddy fought for a united Andhra Pradesh.

“There is no point in dividing the people for the sake of power. We shall hold a dialogue with all the concerned if there are certain reservations over implementation of the Gentlemen’s agreement,” he said.