ANDHRA PRADESH

Telangana: Congress asked to spell out stand

HYDERABAD, FEB. 26. The TDP has asked the Congress to clearly spell out its stand on separate Statehood for Telangana and other critical issues raised by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) with which it sealed an alliance on Wednesday.

Admitting that it was concerned about the implications of this `opportunistic alliance' on the State's future, the party said details of the agreement between the Congress and the TRS could not be kept under wraps. When two political parties with different views joined hands, people were entitled to know their policies and programmes.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, the Home Minister, T. Devender Goud, the Revenue Minister, P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, and the TDP spokesman, Ummareddy Venkateswarlu, said the TRS was openly stating that its aim was to split the State into Andhra and Telangana regions.

The Congress owed an explanation to people whether it too was in favour of disintegration of Andhra Pradesh.

Further, it must also say whether it supported the TRS on the issue of implementing the naxalites' agenda, launching a violent agitation against the Pulichintla project, and backing Karnataka's move to raise the height of Alamatti reservoir.

The TDP leaders accused the TRS of misleading people by joining hands with the Congress which it had blamed for keeping the Telangana region backward and dubbed it `a third-rate party'. "Did they ask the TRS to put its agenda in cold storage. If not, have they struck a secret deal?" they asked.

Mr. Devender Goud said the Congress had rushed to the TRS for a seat-sharing arrangement as it feared imminent defeat after the success of the Telugu Desam's Vijaybheri rally.

The alliance was not in the interest of the State since it was guided by no consideration other than coming to power, he added.