PRP under pressure for a rethink on Telangana issue

Hyderabad: Along with TDP, K Chiranjeevi-led Praja Rajyam Party today came under pressure from within for a rethink on its stand on Telangana statehood issue as the actor-turned-politician bought 15 days time from his MLAs to come out with a clear stand.

Leaders from different districts of Telangana reached the party headquarters here to express their displeasure in the midst of speculation that he was going to announced the party's changed stand on bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

Presidents of PRP's Medak, Nalgonda, Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Warangal and Hyderabad districts drove to Chiranjeevi's residence for a meeting to discuss the issue.

PRP's MLA from Telangana region A Maheswar Reddy too joined the meeting and sought a clarification from Chiranjeevi on reports that he was now favouring a unified state against the party's line for a Telangana.

Chiranjeevi reportedly told them that there was no reversal of the party's stand on Telangana and it still stood by its commitment. "Don't believe in rumours. Reports that I have changed my stand are absolutely false," he assured them.

PRP and TDP had backed the creation of Telangana at the all-party meeting convened by Chief Minister K Rosaiah but in the wake of growing anti-Telangana protests shifted to a "unified" Andhra Pradesh stand.

However, as MLAs from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions too joined the meeting, Chiranjeevi said no decision has been taken yet on the contentious Telangana issue.

"Give me 15 days time to come out with a clear stand," Maheswar Reddy quoted Chiranjeevi as saying.

PRP's official spokesman Shravan Kumar told PTI at the end of the meeting that there was immense pressure on Chiranjeevi to support a unified state.

"With 15 MLAs from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions and one from Telangana submitting their resignation to the Assembly Speaker in support of a unified state, Chiranjeevi is obviously under pressure. But he told us that he was not yielding to any pressure," Shravan said.

TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu has already indicated the party would go by the mood of the people on the bifurcation issue. "The issue is now in the people’s court and we have to respect the people's verdict," he had said.

TDP has a strong base in Telangana with 39 MLAs but PRP has only two lawmakers from the region.