BJP reiterates demand for separate Telangana state

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New Delhi, Feb.7 : Reiterating its demand for the creation of a separate Telangana state, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today accused the Congress Party of compounding and confounding the confusion on the issue.

Rebutting the Congress charge that the BJP is indulging in double speak on the issue, party spokesman Prakash Javadkar said the former has betrayed the people of Telangana, and is now indulging in a false blame game.

"Congress came to power in Andhra Pradesh along with the TRS on the promise of creation of separate state of Telangana after election. The NDA has put in place a procedure to create a separate state out of present state. The state assembly needs to pass a resolution by majority, which is ratified by the Parliament by passing necessary constitution amendment," Javadkar told reporters here.

"The Congress never wanted to create the state of Telangana, and therefore, it started pulling back its feet after the elections. Instead of bringing a resolution in state assembly, it appointed the "Mukherjee committee" just to buy time. It was not a constitutional committee nor does it have legal sanctity," he added.

Javadkar also said that talk of second State Reorganisation Commission (SRC) was irrelevant, as the first SRC had recommended the creation of a separate state of Telangana.

Last month, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao served an ultimatum on the UPA Government to begin the process for the creation of a separate Telangana state by March 6.

He warned that if the government remained indifferent, all his party MPs, MLAs and MLCs would resign. The TRS has four MPs, 16 MLAs and three MLCs.

March 6 was chosen as the deadline because that number is considered lucky for the TRS chief.

The TRS ultimatum, came only days after Rao gave a call to his cadres to corner Congress legislators in the Telangana region for the party's decision to constitute a second states reorganisation commission.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy has preferred to wait and watch, while Telangana party leaders have said nobody can dictate terms to the Congress.

Telangana is a region that lies on the Deccan Plateau to the west of the Eastern Ghats range, and includes the northwestern interior districts of Warangal, Adilabad, Khammam, Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Rangareddi, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Medak, and Andhra Pradesh capital, Hyderabad. The Krishna and Godavari rivers flow through the region from west to east.

The quest for a separate Telangana state has been on since 1956, and was intensified after 1969.

On the issue of shortage of liquified petroleum gas, Javadkar said government advertisements suggesting that the shortages are due to rising demand in face of winter season, "is yet another desperate attempt to fool the people."

If that was the case, why were there shortages in southern states, where there is no cold wave? he asked.

He said that the BJP would expose the government's complicity in LPG shortages in and outside the Parliament.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora has said that the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have decided to make an additional import of nearly 30 million tonnes of LPG during February and March to overcome LPG shortage in the country.

Speaking on the sidelines of the International Conference on Gas Hydrates on the outskirts of Delhi today, Deora said that for 2007, LPG imports of 2.4 million tonnes had been tied up but in view of the shortfall, new imports were ordered.

"We will ensure that there is no shortage of LPG during the next few weeks. The Oil Marketing Companies have been asked to step up production and if need be also go in for more imports. There is shortage of bottling and it will take 10ays for the situation to return to normal," he said.

The BJP has warned the government to resolve the crisis within one month or face an agitation.

ANI

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