ANDHRA PRADESH

Rajnath backs separate Telangana



Special Correspondent

BJP's national executive to endorse party's Kakinada resolution

We want Telangana from the core of our hearts, he saysAdds Congress, TRS had betrayed the people of the region

HYDERABAD: BJP president Rajnath Singh announced here on Saturday that his party's national executive would endorse the eight-year-old resolution adopted by the Andhra Pradesh unit at Kakinada favouring separate Statehood for Telangana.

`Fully positive'

Speaking at a meeting of party workers and earlier at a news conference here, Mr. Singh said the Central Committee of the BJP was "fully positive" towards the demand for separate Telangana. "We want Telangana from the inner core of our hearts," he said.

Mr. Singh's categorical assertion raises the lid on the Kakinada resolution, which has been kept in cold storage since 1998 by the BJP high command because of its association with the Telugu Desam, a party strongly opposed to separatism. He said the national executive would decide the course of action for pursuing the demand.

Congress, TRS blamed

Mr. Singh blamed the Congress and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) for betraying the people of the region by promising separate Telangana and backtracking later after getting the electoral mandate. There could not be a "bigger fraud" on the people than this, he said.

The BJP had stuck to its promise of creating Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Uttaranchal within a year of coming to power at the Centre in 1999.

A similar promise had been made by the Congress on Telangana before the 2004 Assembly polls. "Two years have passed but nothing has happened," he remarked.

Denies consultation

Answering questions of reporters, he stated categorically that United Progressive Alliance sub-committee on Telangana had not sought his party's views. "When did he ask us?" he said when his attention was drawn to the statement of sub-committee chairman Pranab Mukherjee that the BJP had not responded to repeated letters from him.

Not to work with TRS

Mr. Singh dismissed the possibility of the BJP joining hands with the TRS to fight for the cause. "We are a national party. Why should we work with TRS?"

Earlier, BJP's official spokesman Prakash Jawdekar described this as a red letter day in the history of the State unit of the party as it got the nod from the president of the party to fight for separate Telangana.