War of words between TRS, Congress heats up

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Chandrashekhar Rao
Hyderabad, Mar 19: After TRS's refusal to merge with Congress, the two parties are now engaged in a war of words in the run-up to the elections.

"Telangana became a reality because of TRS. We have seen Congress rule for sixty years. If these parties come to power again, the fate of Telangana would be same for another hundred years. We need new leadership and new policies. A TRS government should come to power," TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao said here, addressing a gathering.

Seeking to put the Congress, TDP and BJP in a spot, he demanded that these parties make their stand clear on merging of certain villages in Khammam district, facing submergence due to Polavaram irrigation project in Seemandhra.

The Central government put these villages in Seemandhra to facilitate the construction of the Polavaram project, which was given the status of a national project. TRS is opposed to the merger of the villages on the ground that the villages are inhabited by tribals.

"We will not let water go to the illegal projects (in Seemandhra) until the needs of Telangana are met," he said. He also favoured the Telangana government "handing over" the Seemandhra employees to the government of (the residual) Andhra Pradesh.

While Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, who was criticised by the TRS president earlier for reportedly saying that he personally opposed to division of Andhra Pradesh, said it was Congress which was responsible for making the dream of separate Telangana come true.

Without naming the TRS, which was formed in 2001, Ramesh took a dig at the regional outfit. He said the Congress raised the demand for creation of a separate Telangana on September 21, 2000 through 'Mahabubnagar declaration'.

"I am giving you this background because many people (TRS) consider themselves architects of Telangana," the minister said, adding that Congress had been putting in efforts to build a consensus over Telangana state since 2004.

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, who visited Hyderabad last week, said the TRS president had gone back on his word that he would merge the party with Congress.


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