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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Only BJP can stop division of Andhra, Jagan's mother tells Rajnath

Shekhar Iyer, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 09, 2013
First Published: 21:18 IST(9/10/2013) | Last Updated: 22:21 IST(9/10/2013)

YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy's mother Vijayamma on Wednesday met BJP president Rajnath Singh, urging his party's intervention to stop the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh for creation of Telangana.

"Only the BJP, as the main opposition party in Parliament, can prevent the division of the state as the Congress is hell bent on wreaking havoc for its political game," she told Singh.

Accompanied by her party leaders including Mysoora Reddy, Rajmohan Reddy and YSR Congress legislature party leader Shoba Nagi Reddy, Vijayamma handed a memorandum, listing the "havoc" that would be caused to the people of the state, on account of division of resources, including water and power.

Singh conveyed to them that, though the BJP stood for creation of Telegnana, it was keen that the Centre work hard to ensure "inter-regional equity" is maintained and "injustice" was not done to any region.

Vijayamma's meeting with the BJP chief came as her son's indefinite fast entered fifth day. A few days ago after he was released from Hyderabad jail, Jagan had praised BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's "administrative skills" but urged that the BJP should change its philosophy, saying that “I want BJP to change. I want Modi to change BJP. I want BJP to become secular.”

Jagan had also criticised Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, remarking that “someone wanted the son to become a PM and bifurcated Telangana. Just for 16-17 seats, how can they play with the future of lakhs of people in a state?”

Even as the BJP has been happy about YSR Congress' rival, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), warming up to Modi, its leaders have been wondering whether Jagan would be ready to shake hands in the post-2014 poll scenario.

Considering that the BJP does not have a big base in the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, its hope of winning a few seats is limited to Telangana, party officials say. But rebel Congress leaders have asked the BJP to openly oppose the bifurcation if it wanted to win at least 10 parliamentary seats in the Seemandhra areas.

Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Nadu said, "This issue has been pending for years. It was mentioned in the 2004 election manifesto of Congress. Then, the Congress and TRS joined hands and benefitted in the elections due to this issue. It was mentioned in the President's address to Parliament after 2009 polls. The then Home Minister P Chidambaram spoke about it on December 9, 2009 in Parliament. What has the Congress done on Telangana in the last nine and half years starting from 2004?"

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