YSR lost moral right to continue as CM: Cong leader

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Hyderabad, Jan 22 (UNI) Senior Congress leader and Telangana Regional Development Board Chairman U Purushottam Reddy today alleged that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy had lost moral right to continue in office as he opposed the formation of separate Telangana.

Reacting to media reports quoting the Chief Minister as saying that separate Telangana would not be formed by 2009 elections, Mr Reddy said he had crossed the 'Lakshman Rekha' and made the statement even after the party high command had asked state party leaders to stop making such statements on Telangana issue.

Claiming that the party had weakened in the Telangana region and the Congress would be defeated in the next elections if Telangana State was not formed, the former Minister told newspersons here that ''I will resign from the present post if the Congress high command expresses its stand against the Telangana.'' Accusing the Chief Minister of trying to show his 'strength' by making 'anti-Telangana' statements, Mr Reddy said it was a move to pre-empt AICC President Sonia Gandhi's decision on Telangana.

''We believe in Ms Gandhi's leadership. We hope she would make a positive statement on Telangana. We will respect the decision of the AICC President,'' AICC Secretary Madhu Yaski Goud, MP, said, adding that some Congress leaders and Ministers have conspired to stop the formation of Telangana.

He said the Telangana Congress leaders would meet Ms Gandhi on January 28 and bring to her notice the Chief Minister's statement.

''Dr Reddy's statement was an attempt to influence the high command's decision,'' he added.

''The Congress leaders fighting for Telangana were being treated as dissidents by some party leaders in the State,'' Mr Goud alleged.

To a query, he said the Telangana Congress leaders were not questioning the leadership of the Chief minister. ''He is the right leader for the State and even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Ms Gandhi had praised him for taking up several development programmes.

But, the development of the State and sentiments of Telangana people are different issues.'' UNI AP VA GD SHB RN1523

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