ANDHRA PRADESH

Manmohan did not say anything against YSR: Venkataswamy

HYDERABAD: Congress Working Committee member G. Venkataswamy has debunked the claim made by another senior party leader M. Satyanarayana Rao that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy as a stumbling block in the formation of separate Telangana.

“We have met the Prime Minister for sure, but I have not heard him say anything about the Chief Minister,” Mr. Venkataswamy told reporters who met him on Monday.

He said the Prime Minister wanted the Assembly to pass a resolution seeking the formation of a separate State as the basis for the Centre to take a decision.

Mr. Venkataswamy pointed out that the passage of resolution in the Assembly would take time as several parties, the Telugu Desam and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in particular, were “dead against” separate statehood for Telangana. “How can a resolution be passed unless you have the required support?”

The CWC member also dismissed Mr. Satyanarayana Rao’s reported comments that he (Mr. Venkataswamy) had developed hearing problems owing to old age.

“Mr. Rao may feel that I am old and deaf, but I am not,” he said regretting that his name had been “unnecessarily” dragged into the controversy.

Asked specifically whether he perceived that Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy was against separate Telangana, he said no Chief Minister would seek bifurcation of the State.

“It is for the party high command to decide and I am sure AICC president Sonia Gandhi will convince Dr. Reddy on the issue once a decision is taken,” he said.

Second SRC

Mr. Venkataswamy who supported the constitution of second States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) initially, said had the SRC been constituted earlier with a time frame to give its recommendation, the Telangana issue would have been resolved by now.

But the time had come for the high command to take the initiative as the people would not accept the second SRC at this juncture.

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