Telangana is not Congress` internal matter, says Chandrababu Naidu
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Telegu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu was on Monday denied permission to fast at capital’s Andhra Bhavan by the Resident Commissioner of the facility, reports stated.
Authorities in Andhra Pradesh Bhawan here were in a fix over former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu sitting on a fast unto death over division of the state.
Official sources said on behalf of Naidu, Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, who enjoys Cabinet status, a request was made for permission to use the conference hall for a press meet.
But after the press meet, Naidu straightaway went to a concrete platform in the premises of Andhra Bhawan and announced that he was launching his fast.
After sometime, officials got restive and talked to Naidu`s son Lokesh and Telugu Desam leaders including its Lok Sabha leader Namma Nageshwar Rao in a bid to persuade the former Chief Minister not to continue his fast since permission has not been given for it.
Naidu refused to oblige and said he was from the state, he would continue his protest there.
Rao accused the state government of putting pressure on TDP to give up the agitation.
Asked whether Andhra Bhawan authorities would lodge a complaint with police for getting Naidu evicted, an official said the decision has to be taken by the government in Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav came to Andhra Bhawan and expressed solidarity with Naidu. He said this was not the right time to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
Naidu, who is in the capital to protest against the split of Andhra Pradesh, accused Congress of playing politics in view of the Lok Sabha polls, but remained ambivalent on Telangana.
Accusing the Congress and the central government of not holding discussions and taking the decision "arbitrarily" to bifurcate the state, he said the Seemandhra region has plunged into chaos and people are starting to lose confidence in the political system.
"They (Congress party) are treating Andhra Pradesh issue as the internal affair of the party. They are interested in politics, not governance or state or people. They are saying everything in terms of politics. Things are becoming worse day by day," Naidu told reporters here.
He said the intention of the Congress party had become clear right on the day of announcing the split of the state after the CWC meeting when they said that TRS party is going to merge with them.
Naidu, who visited Rajghat to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi before launching his fast, contended that Congress wanted to win votes in both Telangana and Seemandhra regions with the support of TRS and YSR Congress party of Jaganmohan Reddy.
"I am asking is it the way of doing politics at the cost of society. You are doing this type of dirty politics, that is what is happening today," he said.
Naidu said people in the Seemandhra region are protesting for over 70 days ever since the announcement about the split.
"People in Andhra Pradesh are losing confidence in the political system and there is chaos. We are all party to that. They have lost confidence in elected representatives," he said.
Naidu chose the Italian word `immobilismo`, which means standstill, to describe the situation in Andhra Pradesh. He said the Delhi government and the Congress party will only understand this language.
"Government in Delhi understands Italian language. I want to use it. It is more appropriate to government in Delhi and Congress party also," he said.
Asked whether he was in favour of formation of Telangana or not and his party`s support to the new state extended in 2008, Naidu was ambivalent saying all the three regions are same to him.
"As a father if I have three children, I will treat all the children as same," he said.
Naidu did not give a categorically reply as to whether he was for Telangana or united Andhra Pradesh saying it is the "gameplan" of Congress to rake up a "controversy" and that all three -- Congress, YSR Congress and TRS -- have joined hands to defeat TDP after his party came out with a good show in recent local body polls.
"I am for Telugu people. We are very clear. My statement is very clear. They have to do justice.... No you cannot ask that. We have to do justice for both areas, discuss with people of both areas, resolve the problem amicably. If there is a new government, we will resolve it within six months.
"They should have at least called the Joint Action Committees of both areas, talked to them, sorted it out. You cannot not hit the people below the belt. There is a procedure. They had similarly bungled in Punjab, Assam and Jammu Kashmir," Naidu said in response to a volley of questions on the issue.
The TDP Chief appealed to the national parties and national leaders to support his agitation.
BJP, to which Naidu has been warming up for quite some time, has already supported the bifurcation of the state.
The TDP chief refused to give a direct reply on the possibility of formation of a Third Front and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav not taking his name today while speaking on the issue but reminded that his party had a role in bringing non-Congress governments three times at the Centre in the past.
"I do not want to discuss about politics. I am on a mission today and do not want to discuss other things now. I tried so many times for Third Front. And we were responsible for non-Congress governments at the Centre for last three times. Whenever there is a national crisis, TDP played its role," he said.
The party said its leaders and workers will reach New Delhi tomorrow evening by a special train from Secunderabad to express solidarity with the fasting leader.
"Fasting for justice to all in AP. India must take note of how INC created a wedge among Telugu ppl (sic). Today Telugu ppl, tomorrow could be you!", Chandrababu tweeted soon after sitting on the fast at Andhra Pradesh Bhavan in New Delhi.
"The approach taken by INC in bifurcation of AP is laden with political compromises for petty gains. Destroying Telugu lives is their goal!", he added.
Naidu also chose the occasion to remind that Congress had dismissed the Andhra Pradesh government headed by N T Ramarao in past.
Claiming that Congress has aligned with TRS and YSR Congress to defeat him, Naidu said that "like a statesman" he was fighting the Congress when that party and the government of India are "playing with the Telugu people".
He also sought to link YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy`s release on bail in disproportionate assets case with the Congress` alleged gameplan, adding that "political opportunism" is the force behind the ruling party`s decision on Telangana.
"As a result, the common man in Andhra has lost faith in government, even in politicians," he said.
Naidu said that his party tried its best to bring to the notice of the government the issue but no action was taken.
On Congress leader Digvijay Singh accusing him of flip flop on Telangana issue, the TDP leader shot back asking "whether in Andhra Pradesh there are no leaders. Who will decide the fate of Telugu people-Digvijay Singh, P Chidambaram or M Veerappa Moily?
"They never talked to any leader from Andhra.... Is there any all-party meeting on it. They never talked to anybody. Why they have not called any all-party meeting? Is it Congress party`s internal affair? They have messed it up completely."
The TDP chief said that whenever there is any such dispute, there is a need to arrive at the "right balance between competitive interests" but the government did not strive for it as it was "only interested in getting more seats" in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
With agency inputs
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