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Sushma pitches for Telangana

FIRM STAND: Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj with the ABVP students in Hyderabad on Saturday.

FIRM STAND: Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj with the ABVP students in Hyderabad on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: — PHOTO: P.V. SIVAKUMAR

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj has said that there was a compelling and historical necessity for Congress to concede the demand for separate Telangana as its patriarch and late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had assured disintegration of the region with the rest of the State if the ‘trial’ of their merger failed.

Asserting that the trial has indeed failed, she asked Congress to give Telangana State immediately before more heart-broken youth committed suicide. The BJP leader was addressing a packed public meeting, mostly consisting of students, organised by Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in Nizam College grounds on Saturday. It was held with conditional permission granted by High Court.

Ms. Swaraj reminded Congress president Sonia Gandhi that the latter had a two-fold responsibility in honouring Nehru’s promise as a descendent of his family and head of the party. Nehru had bowed to pressure from leaders of coastal districts who wanted the merger, but assured the people of Telangana that they would get back their State if the experiment of uniting them did not work, she said.

She expressed the BJP’s firm resolve to fulfil its commitment to separate Telangana and said the party did not blindly support any demand. It studied the demands in depth and then arrived at decisions. The same was the case when the State unit of the party passed a resolution seeking separate Telangana at Kakinada in 1997. The national leadership took time to endorse the resolution as it studied the subject thoroughly.

The BJP did not support Telangana at the cost of Andhra, but sought justice for the former. The party had adopted a similar line when States were carved out of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, she added. Among the resolutions adopted by the meeting was a demand seeking the resignation of Union Minister for Urban Development S. Jaipal Reddy.

At a press conference earlier, Ms. Swaraj said the BJP would raise the demand for separate Telangana in the forthcoming budget session of Parliament and force the Centre to expedite the process of creating the State. She blamed the UPA government and Congress for the `uncertainty’ over the issue.

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