Vows to observe silence for a few days as atonement

CWC member confident of achieving statehood

Meet was aimed at highlighting the Telangana sentiment

HYDERABAD: Congress Working Committee member G. Venkatswamy has said that the postponement of the Bhongir public meeting is a setback to the aspirations and sentiments of Telangana people.

Apologising to people of the region for the damage the postponement has caused to the Telangana statehood issue on Monday, Mr. Venkatswamy said he would maintain silence for the next few days as atonement.

In a two-page press note, the veteran Congress leader said his dream was for Telangana and exuded confidence that the statehood would be a reality before the next elections. “Only the Congress and the Congress government will give Telangana and we will continue this struggle for the statehood,” he remarked.

SRC withdrawal

Recalling how he had proposed to quit his Lok Sabha seat after the AICC general secretary Veerappa Moily had announced the proposal to constitute the second States Reorganisation Commission (SRC), he said it was his request that led to withdrawal of the proposal.

It was then that the senior leaders urged him to fight for the cause of separate State. The Bhongir meeting was proposed to be held to highlight the sentiment prevailing for a separate Telangana, he said and added that even the Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy had sent an emissary to him to get it postponed or cancelled.

“Even Mr. Moily had called me with a similar request thrice, which I politely turned down,” he remarked.

Mr. Venkatswamy said the meeting with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi lasted 80 minutes, where it was decided to discuss the issue in the Core Committee meeting. Before the committee met, it was announced in Hyderabad that the Bhongir meeting had been postponed. “The postponement was a shock to me and other team members,” he said.