Speaking openly for the first time after the July 30 announcement by the Congress Working Committee on creation of Telangana state, he said the division would only complicate things further and nine Union Ministers from Andhra- Rayalaseema regions made this clear to the high command.
"We have explained clearly the (negative) implications of the proposed division and wanted the high command to take an appropriate decision at the earliest. The A K Antony Committee was appointed based on our pleas (against the division)," the Congress leader maintained.
The Congress has set up a panel under Antony to study the problems of non-Telangana regions and talk to party leaders who are opposing the state's division. "We waited for four years...there's no harm in waiting for a few more days. We wanted the high command to take a decision after discussions with all concerned.
Whatever be the eventual decision, we will abide by the high command." "Andhra Pradesh is a comprehensive state on scientific lines as well as resources. What purpose will the division of the state, which has 42 Lok Sabha MPs, serve? The prestige of the state will grow only if it remains united," he stressed.
The MP from Eluru in coastal Andhra said it was his firm opinion that smaller states would not serve the nation's interests. There was no need to divide the state only to serve the interests of a "few political leaders". The businessman-turned-politician maintained he never took a "U-turn" on the state bifurcation issue.
"Such an accusation pains me." Referring to Hyderabad, which always remained the bone of contention between pro and anti-bifurcation supporters, Rao pointed out that all development over the years happened only in and around the state capital.
"People sold their properties elsewhere and settled down in Hyderabad. Now, the feeling that Hyderabad doesn't belong to them anymore, hurts everyone."