Congress denies TDP's charge on Telangana

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Hyderabad, Oct 10 (UNI) All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesperson and MP K Keshava Rao today denied the charge of opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu that the Congress had not fulfilled its promise of separate statehood for Telangana people.

Talking to newspersons here, he said though Mr Naidu had taken his own time in extending his party's support to Telangana Rashtra Samiti(TRS), clamouring for formation of separate Telangana, he should abide by his decision with utmost commitment.

Mr Rao said the Congress was demanding separate statehood for Telangana since 1969 and was seriously considering the issue.

He said the United Progressive Alliance(UPA) Government constituted a committee, headed by the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, to evolve a consensus on the issue as per the Common Minimum Programme(CMP).

He alleged that the TDP, which was opposing the formation of separate Telangana, did not cooperate with the UPA Government in evolving a consensus on the issue.

Mr Rao said the process was facilitated after the committee met seven times to evolve a consensus among all parties before moving a bill in Parliament for separate Telangana.

He said Mr Naidu should not treat the issue as a political gimmick to garner votes in the coming elections and should honour the sentiments of the Telangana people.

He said till 1982, the Congress was demanding separate statehood for Telangana. However the leaders did not raise the issue after TDP led by its founder-president N T Rama Rao, captured power in 1983.

Mr Rao said since the party was committed to honour the sentiments of the people of Telangana, it would work within the framework of the Constitution.

Denying Mr Naidu's charge that the State had not developed during the last four and a half years, he alleged that the TDP, during its nine-year tenure, had not achieved even fifty per cent of the development made by the Congress Government.

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