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Botsa seeks Advani’s apology on Telangana

Pradesh Congress President Botsa Satyanarayana on Thursday sought an apology from senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani for ‘lying with the people of Telangana’.

Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan, Botsa produced a copy of letter dated April 1, 2002, written by LK Advani as Home Minister to the then Lok Sabha MP A Narender sating that the NDA Government “do not propose creation of a separate State of Telangana.” In the letter Advani wrote, “The Government of India is of the view that regional disparities in economic development can be tackled through planning and efficient use of available resources. The Government, therefore, do not propose creation of a separate State of Telangana.”

Seeking an explanation on this letter, Botsa said Advani have no right to speak about Telangana when he himself has objected to its formation. He reminded that the BJP Manifesto for the State in 1998 clearly promised separate Telangana State and contested the polls on the slogan of “One Vote, Two States”. “However, after coming to power at the Centre, the BJP forgot its promise,” he said.

Citing a debate held in the Lok Sabha on Telangana, Botsa said that Advani as a Deputy Prime Minister categorically said that the issue of under development of Telangana is best addressed in integrated Andhra Pradesh and that therefore, there was no need to form separate Telangana. He said that BJP talks about Telangana when it is not in power.

Claiming that the Congress never went back on its words on Telangana, he said that in 2004 Manifesto, the Congress party proposed to constitute second States Reorganisation Commission. “Since the Congress formed the government at the Centre with many others including TRS, it was decided that as part of Common Minimum Programme, the issue would be resolved by achieving political consensus,” he said. However, he said unfortunately consensus could not be achieved as political parties were vertically divided on the issue in both the regions of the State. “In 2009 Congress Manifesto, while acknowledging that there was an overwhelming sentiment for separate Telangana in that region, it was categorically stated that the interests and sentiments of other stake holders would be taken into account,” he said.

Botsa said that unlike BJP, the Congress party never promised separate Telangana ‘unconditionally’. He said that December 9, 2009, statement on Telangana could not be honoured as the political parties who supported separate state on December 7, changed their stand after Home Minister P Chidambaram’s announcement. He said that the Congress party has been making sincere efforts to resolve the issue. (INN)

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