ANDHRA PRADESH

Narendra terms YSR's remark provocative

HYDERABAD, AUG. 21. The Union Minister of State for Rural Development, A. Narendra, has reacted strongly to the remark of the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, that Statehood for Telangana would be granted only if the 100 crore people of India agreed to it.

`No sense'

The Union Minister termed Dr. Reddy's statement, "nonsensical" when reporters sought his reaction. "It would have made some sense if Dr. Reddy had said that the three-and-a-half crore people of Telangana or the eight crore population of the State needed to agree," he added.

Mr. Narendra said he was upset that Congress leaders were making "incoherent remarks,'' which were made without any provocation from the TRS. The TRS would not have gone for an alliance with Congress if it had foreseen such a situation, he said. "Even now, it is not too late. It is a matter of seconds to sever links with the party," he warned. The Congress had only 145 MPs whereas the parties supporting TRS had a better strength, he added.

`Facts distorted'

The Union Minister said it was not befitting of a Chief Minister to talk in such terms. The Congress leaders "distorted facts'' which made many in the TRS restive, Mr. Narendra said, adding that this made them take the issue to its "logical end."