ANDHRA PRADESH

Santosh Reddy stays away from TRS meet

SHOW OF STRENGTH: TRS leader and Union Minister A. Narendra addressing the party meeting in Warangal on Saturday.  

Staff Reporter

WARANGAL: The Telangana Rasthra Samithi (TRS) leadership has reiterated its appeal to rebel MLAs to return to the party fold and strengthen the Telangana movement, and not to fall prey to the forces that have been trying to weaken the movement.

Senior leader and former Minister S. Santosh Reddy stayed away from the meeting and so did seven MLAs who were branded rebels. They are Mandadi Satyanarayana Reddy, B. Sara Rani, Dugyala Srinivasa Rao, K. Laxma Reddy, Jayaprakash Reddy, Narayana Rao Patel and G. Mukunda Reddy.

Target YSR

However, speaker after speaker attacked Congress leaders, including Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, accusing them of trying to weaken the movement. A. Narendra too attacked Dr. Reddy. "If Dr. Reddy doesn't stop playing games with people of Telangana, they will bring down the Government. He will meet the same fate as that of former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu," he said.

However, G. Vijayarama Rao, B. Vinod Kumar, D. Ravindra Naik, Padma Devender Reddy and others appealed to the rebel MLAs to bury the differences and join the party.

Time for unity

Mr. Vijayarama Rao said both K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Mr. Narendra were trying to muster the support of all regional parties and succeeded in convincing AICC president Sonia Gandhi of the need for separate Telangana.

But, Congress leaders in Andhra Pradesh were working against the movement. This was the time to be united and resist such forces, he added.

Mr. Vinod Kumar urged the rebels to return to the party fold for the sake of the people of Telangana. "Unlike other parties, this is not a political party. This is a movement aimed at fulfilling the aspirations of over three crore people. They will not forgive if leaders ditch them," he said.