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Andhra-Telangana camaraderie key to development: Venkaiah

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Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, which have had sharp differences following an acrimonious division last year, should have cordial relations in the interest of development, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said here today.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao should take initiative to thrash out differences between the two states, he said.

“You can change your friends but not neighbours. We are not just neighbours but brothers who were together. Even if brothers in a family separate, there are some problems. Such problems have to be solved with the help of elders.

“If the Chief Ministers start the process of finding solutions, then friendship is further strengthened,” Naidu said.

The Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister’s comments came in the wake of Rao’s presence in the foundation stone laying ceremony of AP yesterday following a personal invitation from Chandrababu Naidu.

The rare bonhomie between the two Chief Ministers was appreciated by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech at the foundation-laying event.

Driving home the point that Telangana and AP should have cordial relations, Modi said yesterday that both share the “Telugu soul” though they are different states.

The ruling Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti in Telangana have been at loggerheads on several issues, including the recent alleged cash-for-vote scandal involving a TDP MLA and alleged defection of some TDP legislators to TRS in Telangana.

The two states had also engaged in ugly spats on issues, including sharing of river water and electricity, post bifurcation of AP last year.