Congress open for electoral alliances in Telangana: Ponnala
Hyderabad: Congress on Thursday claimed that it would win a chunk of seats in Telangana in upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections even though the party is "open" for electoral alliances.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president Ponnala Lakshmaiah said his party would win 100 (out of 119) Assembly and 15 (out of 17) Lok Sabha seats in the April 30 elections in the region.
"It`s a fact that we kept our doors open for alliances with those who fought for creation of Telangana state. It was only to expedite the process of building a `Golden Telangana`, not that we are weak," Ponnala told a meet-the-press programme organised by the Telangana Union of Working Journalists.
He said contrary to reports, Congress is strong at the village level in the region.
"We will make it even stronger. Our rank and file is against forging electoral alliances but we will consider if any proposal comes our way," he said, replying to a query on whether there was a move to tie-up with Telangana Rashtra Samiti and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen.”
"We have not received any proposal from either of them," Ponnala said.
Stressing that building a `Golden Telangana` was the Congress` prime focus, the TPCC chief said their emphasis would also be on creating a `social Telangana` since the region comprised mostly of downtrodden sections.
"Some people are going round claiming that they will `re-construct` Telangana. I don`t understand what it means. They are only seeking to hoodwink people. They are only eyeing political gains by making such incredulous claims," Ponnala said without naming the TRS.
The Congress was drafting plans for building a `Golden Telangana` and the plans would be incorporated in the party manifesto.
Ponnala said Telangana state was created not because of lack of development but to fulfil aspirations of people.
"The region has been developed immensely in the last ten years. All development indices clearly indicate this. A separate state has been created only to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the people," he noted.
Congress would continue the development process in a planned manner with focus on electricity generation and irrigation.
"In the last ten years, 1900 MW has been added to power generating capacity in Telangana. Many more projects are in the pipeline. We are pursuing with the Centre for allocation of gas and coal for these projects.”
"Similarly, on the irrigation front, 1.22 crore acres of land has already been brought under cultivation while projects for providing water to another 53 lakh acres are underway," Ponnala, who had served as Major Irrigation Minister, pointed out.
Referring to TRS` statement that it would block construction of Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project if the design was not changed, the TPCC chief said such claims were being made only for political gains.
"They don`t have any technical knowledge. Their intention is to make political gains by spreading falsehood," Ponnala alleged.
On TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao`s reported remarks that all non-Telangana employees would be driven out once the new state came into being, Ponnala said, "Everything would happen only as per the provisions in the AP Reorganisation Bill-2014 and the steps taken by the Government of India...No one can drive out anyone".
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