Telangana our 'first priority' if voted to power: BJP
Accusing the Government of indecision, BJP today promised to accord "first priority" to creation of Telangana state if voted to power at the Centre.delhi Updated: Sep 04, 2012 19:37 IST
Accusing the Government of indecision, BJP on Tuesday promised to accord "first priority" to creation of Telangana state if voted to power at the Centre, as its cadre tried to march towards the Prime Minister's residence, forcing police to use tear gas shells against them.
Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley blamed "policy paralysis" of the UPA Government for its indecision on the separate state issue and accused it of "outsourcing" its job on the decision to a Committee headed by former judge.
Addressing a protest fast by Andhra Pradesh BJP chief Kishan Reddy, Jaitley said, "The BJP once it comes to power will take up creation of Telangana as its first job. We will give first priority to formation of Telangana. There shall be no doubt about it."
Jaitley was highly critical of the Government's decision to appoint Justice BN Srikrishna Committee to suggest ways to end the Telangana crisis, saying "no one understands the report. The government outsourced it to a Judge. It was the Government's job to resolve."
BJP, the principal Opposition party at the Centre, is supporting the demand for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, arguing that smaller states bring in a lot of development and cites Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chhatisgarh as examples.
The Opposition Leader also accused the Congress of "continously cheating" the people of Telangana.
Jaitley was addressing the protesters after hundreds of them were stopped outside the Parliament Street Police Station, less than a km from the highly-fortified Parliament House complex, as they marched from Jantar Mantar.
The BJP cadres led by party leader Prakash Javadekar tried breaking the barricades after they were stopped by a large posse of policemen outside the station and even attempted to clash with the police.
With protesters insisting that they would march towards Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence, police warned them that they would use force to quell them as they did not have permission.
As the warning went unheeded, the men in khaki used water cannons and tear gas shells to disperse the protesters from the area.
After a while, the protesters led by Javadekar courted arrested and went inside the station where they raised slogans against the Government.
Shouts of 'Jai Telangana', 'We are ready to face lathi and bullets for Telangana' resonated the area as hundreds of protesters courted arrest.
The protestors were demanding that the Centre take immediate steps to form a separate state of Telangana.