Hyderabad, May 14 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today maintained that the Congress alone could deliver statehood to Telangana.
''The Congress High Command is seized of the issue. The issue is very much alive in our minds,'' he said while participating in the celebrations to mark the party's completion of four years in office.
When the party was striving to evolve a consensus on the issue it was ''thoughtless'' on the part of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti(TRS) to project the May 29 by-elections to four Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly seats as a referendum on the issue.
Asserting that the TRS did not not have any exclusive right over Telangana, Dr Reddy said TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao owed an explanation whether he would have started the party had then chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu not denied him the post of Transport Minister.
When the Congress party had not rejected the demand for Telangana, where was the question of referendum, the Chief Minister asked, adding that the party had recognised that there were valid reasons for grant of statehood to Telangana.
When the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP), which had promised ''one vote, two states'' but put in cold storage the statehood for Telangana while creating three new states of Chattisgarh, Jarkhand and Uttaranchal, it were the Congress legislators in the state, who had raised the issue, he recalled.
The TRS had put Telangana backward by three months by forcing an uncalled for by-elections and bringing to standstill implementation of developmental programmes and welfare schemes, he said.
Highlighting the steps taken by his government for the development of the backward region, Dr Reddy said 51 per cent of the gigantic irrigation initative to bring under irrigation one crore acre at a cost of Rs 1,00,000 crore, was being implemented in the Telangana region.
It was the Congress government which was taking up Rs 25,000 crore Pranahita-Chevalla lift irrigation project to provide water for parched lands in Telangana with the power generated from the Polavaram project, he added.
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