Ghulam nabi Azad says TRS had no role in Telangana's statehood
Hyderabad, Sep 20: The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti had no role in getting separate statehood for the region, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad claimed in Hyderabad on Thursday.
"TRS had no role. It was totally the Congress party, the legislators of the Congress party from Telangana, members of Parliament from Telangana, the party organisation from Telangana who are solely responsible," he told reporters.
The Congress working committee endorsed the recommendation made by the party functionaries from Telangana and the then Manmohan Singh government made the law for formation of separate Telangana, he said.
"We did not make the law or made the state of Telangana on the recommendation of TRS," he said.
The Congress MPs from Telangana, though they were in the ruling party, had staged protests in support of separate statehood even inside Parliament, he said.
Azad, who was a union Minister in the previous UPA government and incharge of Congress affairs in undivided Andhra Pradesh for long, said he did not even consult the TRS during the consultations as the separate state was being formed.
The party MPs and other leaders from Seemandhra (the successor state of Andhra Pradesh) left it to the Congress high command during consultations and they were taken aback when the party actually decided to divide the state, he said.
Indicating that the TRS walked away with the credit for formation of the state, Azad said it is like a farmer sowing seeds, watering the crop and using fertilisers for it to grow and someone else harvesting the crop. Azad also alleged that the TRS "cheated" the people on the promise of providing 12 per cent reservation for Muslims.
"On reservation, TRS knew that 12 per cent would be rejected. Because, when Congress promised five per cent in 2004... when (YS) Rajasekhar ji (Reddy) became chief minister, he gave five per cent. But, court dismissed it," he said.
However, the then Congress government saw to it that four per cent reservation was given as per a "procedure," he said.
"So, the chief minister (K Chandrasekhar Rao) knew. Court has dismissed five per cent and they will not accept 12 per cent. That's why, intentionally, he knew that court will dismiss it, but still he did it to deceive (people)," he said.
Describing the BJP-led government at the Centre and TRS government in Telangana as "first cousins", he alleged that both made tall promises on employment generation but failed. He said the TRS supported the NDA government on various issues, including demonetisation, election of President and Vice President, he said.
Azad described the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM party as a "sarkari party" which is always friendly with the government. Asked about Congress attacking the TRS for its "family rule" though the latter has accused Congress of being dynastic, Azad said Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were not appointed by parents which is the case with TRS.