`Cong betrayed promises to remove backwardness in Telangana`

Betrayal of promises by Cong to eliminate backwardness of Telangana region over several decades has fanned separate statehood movement, CPI(M) said.

New Delhi: The "betrayal" of promises by Congress to eliminate backwardness of Telangana region over several decades has fanned the separate statehood movement which was now provoking similar demands in other parts of the country, CPI(M) said on Thursday.

"History of the last four decades is witness to the fact that all promises and assurances made to people of Telangana to eliminate their relative backwardness were, by and large, betrayed.

"It is the Congress party, leading the governments both at the Centre and in the state, for long periods during these four decades that is primarily responsible for not redeeming the assurances made to the people," senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said.

Such demands for creation of newer states on the basis of various identities "has serious consequences not only for the federal content and structure of the Indian Constitution but also in unleashing potentially disruptive tensions in the country," he said in an editorial in the forthcoming issue of party organ `People`s Democracy`.

The "mishandling" of the situation by both the Centre and the state governments led by Congress "has now given rise to a large number of demands from various parts of the country for formation of separate states", including Gorkhaland, Bodoland and Vidarbha.

Yechury recalled how four decades ago, after a violent agitation, an agreement was reached on ensuring development of Telangana region and eliminating its relative economic backwardness.

Following this, Article 371(D) was incorporated in the Constitution to provide for special provisions for Andhra Pradesh to ensure "equitable opportunities and facilities" for people belonging to different parts of the state. But no major step was taken to remove backwardness of these areas.

Yechury said another step needed to be taken to pave the way for the formation of Telangana would be to repeal Article 371(D) from the Constitution "as this would become infructuous." And this measure would have to be adopted by Parliament before Telangana could be legally formed.


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