TDP chief accuses Congress of dividing Telugu people
Two days after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi alleged that Congress has pitted Telangana against Seemandhra, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu Tuesday too accused the party of creating a wedge between Telugu-speaking people.
Naidu, who appeared reconciled to Andhra Pradesh's division after Congress Working Committee (CWC) on July 30 resolved to create separate Telangana state, spoke out against the decision, a few days after Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy broke his silence by asking the central government to address all issues before going ahead with the bifurcation.
The former chief minister accused Congress of mishandling the issue by not doing justice to all the regions, which, he claimed, resulted in protests in Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra regions). "The Congress party is playing with the lives of Telugu people," he said.
Naidu demanded the central government to constitute an all-party panel to address all issues and solve the problem amicably.
The TDP chief alleged that Congress took the decision for political mileage as evident from the statements by its leader Digvijaya Singh that the party will get 14 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana and that Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) will merge with Congress.
He said Congress leaders were making provocative statements.
Naidu claimed that his party stand by its letter to the centre on Telangana issue but want an amicable solution as suggested by Srikrishna Committee in its report.
Terming Finance Minister P. Chidambaram's statement in Rajya Sabha "irresponsible", he said the issue can't be compared with the formation of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.
"Those new states, after separation from parent states, developed their own capitals. Never in India's history, a new state was formed with the capital of the existing state," he said on CWC's decision that Hyderabad will be the capital of Telangana.
Stressing the importance of Hyderabad, he said a state capital is not just a secretariat and state assembly but a hub of economic activity and social infrastructure.
Naidu, who was chief minister from 1995 to 2004, explained in detail the measures taken by him to make Hyderabad a global city.
"We built Cyberabad city, international airport, 160 km long eight-lane road, which is the first of its kind in the world, Indian School of Business (ISB), Indian Institute of Information Technology, Nalsar University, Urdu university and other world-class educational institutions," he said.
"We also brought IRDA headquarters and pharma export centre to Hyderabad. We created economic monuments and provided employment by developing infrastructure including MMTS and Metro Rail. I visited Delhi, Seattle and Davos many a times to convince Microsoft to set up its centre in Hyderabad so that other IT companies also come here. People from all regions came here for jobs," he added.
Claiming that he did all this for the development of the state and of Telugus, Naidu defended his earlier demand that the central government earmark Rs.4 lakh to Rs.5 lakh crore for building a city at par with Hyderabad so that city can serve as the capital of Andhra state.
(Posted on 13-08-2013)