Rajnath Singh pulls up Congress over delayed Telangana decision

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Rajnath Singh on Wednesday welcomed the expected creation of a separate Telangana state, but lashed out at the ruling Congress Party for having delayed a decision for three years.

“Telangana will be formed after the decision of the CWC, but I believe that there has been quite a delay in taking this decision because it was a 2009 declaration of the Congress Party that we will build a separate Telangana state,” Singh told media here.

“If a separate Telangana state had been formed after a few months of the declaration, then I believe that the lives of scores of people who sacrificed their lives for the Telangana cause could have been saved and they would have witnessed the formation of a separate Telangana state,” he added.

Expressing his delight over the nod for the creation of a separate state, Singh congratulated the people of the Telangana region.

Several Congress leaders in Andhra Pradesh are threatening to resign and there is a shutdown in the entire coastal belt and in the southern region of Rayalaseema today in protest against the decision to create a new Telangana state.

The Congress and the UPA yesterday unanimously decided to create Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) last evening decided to recommend to the Central Government to form Telangana, which will comprise 10 districts.

Hyderabad will be the joint capital of the newly-proposed state and the other regions–Rayalaseema and Andhra–for a period of 10 years.

A new capital for Andhra will be identified Seemandhra region within this period.

Congress General Secretary and Andhra Pradesh in-charge Digvijay Singh after the CWC meeting yesterday said that the decision for a separate Telangana state has been made keeping in mind a long standing demand of the people of the region.

He also made it clear that it is not a poll-gimmick.

“I have told you earlier also that it has no relationship with the polls. Political expediency cannot be a reason for such a far-reaching decision,” he told the media here.

Singh said the formation of Telangana cannot be compared to demand from states.

“Telangana’s case can”t be compared to other states because it has a long history and it was mentioned in the first states re-organisation commission,” said Singh.

“If you see historically, the issue of Telangana has always been a very important one,” he added.

AICC General Secretary and in-charge of Communications Department Ajay Maken briefed the media about the resolution that was passed in the Congress Working Committee meeting presided by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and attended by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and party’s vice-president Rahul Gandhi among others.

“It is resolved to request the Central Government to take steps in accordance with the Constitution of India: to form a separate state of Telangana to establish simultaneously and within a definite time frame institute mechanism to address the concerns of the people of the regions of Andhra, Rayalaseema on matters relating to but not limited to sharing of river waters, generation and distribution of electricity, safety and security of all residents in all the three regions and the guarantee of the fundamental rights of all residents; to declare that Hyderabad will be the common capital of both states for a period of 10 years after the formation of the state of Telangana and to put in place legal and administrative measures to ensure that both state governments can function efficiently from the common capital during the said period of 10 years; to assist in the building of a new capital for the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh within a period of 10 years; to declare the Polavaram irrigation project as a national project and to provide adequate funds to complete the same; to identify the special needs of the backward regions and districts of Andhra Pradesh to provide adequate funds for the development of those areas; and to assist the Government of Andhra Pradesh. And after the formation of a state of Telangana, assist both the state governments to maintain law and order and ensure peace and harmony in all the regions and districts;” he said, while reading out the operative part of the resolution.

“The Congress Working Committee acknowledges that the decision to form a separate state of Telangana has not been an easy decision. The decision taken today has been taken after the widest possible consultations and after taking into account the history of the demand for a separate state of Telangana since 1956. The Congress Working Committee appeals to all Congress men and women as well as to all the Telugu speaking people and the residents of Andhra Pradesh to extend their fullest cooperation so that this resolution can be implemented in letter and spirit and in a manner that ensures peace and goodwill and progress and prosperity among all the sections of people of both states,” he added.

The Union Cabinet is likely to meet tomorrow to take a final call on Telangana formation. (ANI)