ANDHRA PRADESH

BJP slams Congress, TRS on Telangana

HYDERABAD, OCT. 7. The BJP on Thursday advised the TRS and the Congress not to talk about separate Telangana till Parliament's winter session was over.

Flaying leaders of the two parties for hurling charges and counter-charges on the Telangana issue, the former Union Minister, Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, accused them of making a mockery of it.

At a press conference here, he expressed his anguish that leaders of the two parties were "talking as they like" on the issue. He suggested that they concentrate more on pressing problems confronting the State like suicide by farmers and starvation deaths.

`No clarity'

Referring to the reported statement of the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, that Telangana would be possible only through consensus, he said it lacked clarity and could be interpreted differently. In fact, lack of clarity in the Congress-TRS pre-poll agreement on Telangana was continuing. This vagueness was reflected in the Common Minimum Programme and the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's address to Parliament's joint session.

Mr. Rao urged the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, to convene an all-party meeting to discuss measures to prevent suicide by farmers and starvation deaths. He charged the Government with giving relief only to the kin of the farmers who ended their lives and not to agricultural workers and artisans. He wanted the administration to open more gruel centres in drought-hit villages.

There was sufficient money and foodgrains, but no machinery to take them to the needy, he said.