Friday, September 02, 2005

TRS rethinking on support to UPA govt

PTI New Delhi Sept 1: The Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief and Union minister, Mr K Chandrasekhara Rao today said that the time has come for him to decide whether to continue in the United Progressive Alliance coalition or not.

Talking to reporters after a meeting with the UPA chairperson, Ms Sonia Gandhi, Mr Rao said that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has been adopting an anti-Telangana attitude and it was very difficult for him to accept his views.’’

“That’s why we feel that the time has come for us either to form Telangana or start an agitation by leaving the UPA,” he said.

Mr Rao, whose party has five members in the Lok Sabha, has been spearheading a campaign for a separate Telangana.

In a memorandum submitted to Ms Gandhi, Mr Rao urged her to instruct the state government to lift the ban imposed on the Maoists.

Asked whether he was disappointed that no significant progress was made towards the formation of Telangana, he said, “Hope and despair is not the issue. We have to take a diplomatic decision. Some people agree and some don’t. We have to take those not agreeing to it along with us. By evolving a consensus we have to move forward.”

Mr Rao took serious exception to Mr Reddy’s reported remarks that the demand for the separate Telangana state was gradually waning because of the development measures initiated by his government.

He said that the Chief Minister was now contravening the stand taken by him when an understanding had been brokered by the Congress high command in July.

“The Chief Minister had campaigned in the elections wearing our rose colour cloth. Moreover, he had agreed to leave the issue of Telangana to Ms Sonia Gandhi when we reached an agreement. It’s not the Telangana demand but Mr Reddy who will be out of sight,” he said.

Saying that the Chief Minister’s attitude had been difficult for him to accept, he said that he would meet the Nationalist Congress Party leader, Mr Sharad Pawar and the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief, Mr Lalu Prasad and discuss whether he should to continue in the UPA or not. “We cannot take this any more.”

On the Naxal issue, Mr Rao said that the experience in the three decades has shown that the policy of bullet to bullet did not succeed to control the problem.

“Even the Punjab problem was solved by taking people into confidence. Talks are now held with NSCN leaders to solve the Naga issue. In neighbouring Sri Lanka, the government has asked the LTTE to come for talks even after the assassination of the foreign minister. This shows that dialogue is the only solution,” he said.

He said the various steps taken by the police after reimposition of the ban on the Naxals was unleashing a rein of terror in villages in Andhra Pradesh, Mr Rao said that the ban should be lifted and talks resumed.

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