AP CM urges Centre to reconsider move to divide Andhra Pradesh

Hyderabad, Nov 15: Stepping up his campaign for a "united" Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy urged the Centre on Friday to reconsider its decision to bifurcate the state and create a separate Telangana state.

"When a decision is taken, it should benefit people. People of both regions should hail that decision. But unfortunately, it is felt by all that this decision may not benefit large section of people. So, we wish that the Centre reconsider its decision and keep the state united. They are trying to divide the state expeditiously, but all of us (Seemandhra Congress leaders) are trying to prevent division," he said.

Reddy was speaking at a meeting organised in the West Godavari district of the coastal Andhra region as part of the state government's mass-contact programme called 'Rachabanda'.

However, the AP CM defended the Congress party over the issue and said that the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the YSR Congress, along with others, should be held responsible for the Centre's decision to divide the state.

Reddy said that he would strive hard to keep Andhra Pradesh "united".

"Unfortunately, all parties had given letters, ahead of the Congress, in support of division. I fail to understand what (TDP Chief) Chandrababu Naidu has been saying for the last 100 days (since the CWC decision in favour of division). He says he favoured equal justice to all. Does it mean division or unity? He does not have the ability to stand for the unity of Telugus. He had a big role in division. There should be clarity of thought for someone who has been Chief Minster for nine years. As if the Centre does not know, YSR Congress Party said you can divide it under Article 3 (of the Constitution). Now, they talk of unity. Congress took a decision because all these people agreed," he said.

Speaking in Visakhapatnam earlier, Reddy said that he would strive hard to keep Andhra Pradesh "united" for the benefit of people of all regions in the state.

He said that the division would create problems for both regions on various issues like sharing of water and power supply. "I will fight to keep the state united till the last.How can the Centre divide the state when it will create problems for people of all regions. The Central government should honour the sentiments of people from all the regions in an equal manner," he said.

Asserting that he will strongly oppose the division of the state during his meeting with the Group of Ministers in New Delhi next week, he said that he would not bother about the Chief Minister's post.

"I am not worried about my post. I will stand for a united state. The Centre should reconsider its decision on bifurcating the state. The state will not develop if it is divided. Both the states will suffer a lot. Maoist menace will increase in both regions if it is divided," he said.

He said that the Telangana region would suffer more than the Seemandhra region after bifurcation of the state. He said at present the state was spending Rs 43,000 crore by way of government employees salaries and pensions every year and post division, both states will have to increase another 50 per cent which would be an additional burden.

He said the Telangana region needs 135 million units of power and for which they have to incur an amount of Rs 35,000 crore. "It is better to keep the state united for the sake of the people and for over all development of the state," he said.


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