ANDHRA PRADESH

TDP rejects demand for separate Telangana

WARANGAL May 29. The Telugu Desam has said a firm `no' to the demand for a separate Telangana as all-round development and well-being of the people was possible only within an integrated Andhra Pradesh.

The regional party spelt out its stand clearly on the sensitive political issue at the Mahanadu here on Wednesday. The political resolution, piloted by the TD Parliamentary Party leader, K. Yerran Naidu, addressed the issue at length. The demand for separate Telangana by some outfits and Congress leaders was motivated by `sheer power lust', often raised when out of power and quickly forgotten.

Mr. Yerran Naidu articulated the party stand eloquently in his 45-minute tirade against the Congress whose leaders, he said, did little for the backward region in their long stint at the helm, but were now `playing with the sentiments of the people.'

In the emerging `global village' environment, `do we really need small States?', he asked, pointing to the recurring instability in small States like Goa where Governments changed too often. How could small States with a handful of MPs fight for their interests in Parliament and bring pressure on the Centre?

The separate Telangana slogan was meaningless when the Government was taking special care to develop backward areas in a rational and scientific manner. Results were already in evidence. Per capita income and GSDP were on the rise in these areas. It was nothing new for disgruntled Congress leaders to don the separatist mask in their bid to come back to power. While some Congress MLAs floated a forum, the PCC remained neutral and the high command was unable to take a stand. It was clear the Congress was more concerned about power than the well-being of the people, he said.

The resolution strongly condemned the divisive tendencies and said people would be much better off in an undivided State. The steps taken by the Government had helped build confidence among the people by a series of interactive initiatives like Janmabhoomi and Neeru-Meeru. "What could not be done in 35 years is being achieved in seven years under Mr. Chandrababu Naidu's leadership." It was surprising that the leaders who shed crocodile tears and cry for justice to the region should be the same people who betray people's trust and push them to backwardness. It urged the people to be alert and see through their game.

The Congress which was blatantly anti-development put obstacles in every good step the Chandrababu Naidu Government took and tried to scuttle implementation of even Food for Work programme which ensured work and food for people in every village.

The 8-page resolution traced the events leading to the advent of NT Rama Rao into politics, the Telugu Desam's growth as a regional power with national outlook and its success in forging a political alternative to the Congress at the Centre.

S. Venugopalachari, MP, seconded the resolution and Mr. Chandrababu Naidu summed up the debate before it was adopted amid cheers.

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