At a massive rally of over one lakh people in Hyderabad, YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy made his support in next year's Lok Sabha elections conditional, saying he will back any party that is for a united Andhra Pradesh.
Jagan exhorted the national political parties to stop the bifurcation
Lashing out at Congress president Sonia Gandhi for "playing with the lives of Telugu people" and "murdering democracy in broad daylight", Reddy called on Telugu people on Saturday to give 30 Lok Sabha seats to his party in general elections, so as to stop the division of Andhra Pradesh.
"Do you know the history of Andhra Pradesh? You are playing with the future of our children only to make your son Prime Minister. Is it justified?" Jagan said referring to Sonia, at his first rally here after release on bail last month.
He called upon the people to unite and thwart the politics of "divide and rule" and "votes and seats".
He also said he was confident the people of Andhra Pradesh will give his party 30 Lok Sabha seats in next year's general elections to stop the bifurcation of the state.
"This is a fight between Delhi's arrogance and Telugu people's self-respect," the Kadapa MP said. "Let us win 30 Lok Sabha seats. We will then see who will and who can divide Andhra Pradesh. If we win 30 seats, we can make someone who will keep Andhra Pradesh united the Prime Minister."
He also exhorted the national political parties to stop the bifurcation. "If you remain silent now, a similar thing may happen in your state in future ... it could be West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Karnataka and even Punjab. I don't know if (Prime Minister) Manmohan Singh will accept division of Punjab," he said.
Jagan also came down heavily on governor ESL Narasimhan and chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy for "backstabbing the state" on the bifurcation. "We repeatedly appealed to both of them to convene a special session of the assembly to pass a resolution against the proposed bifurcation ... If the resolution is passed, Delhi will be forced to backtrack.
"But our pleas fell on deaf ears." He was also critical of Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu for seeking "packages" over the state division.
With PTI inputs