In her first rally in Seemandhra since the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said the division decision was as a difficult one and that she understood the pain and sentiment of the people. But reminding them that there was a “long history to the Telangana movement,” she urged them to look to the future.
In Telangana, Gandhi had claimed full credit for the statehood but once on the other side of the divide, she sought to blame other political parties for the bifurcation.
“All parties except the CPM gave letters in favor of Telangana,” she said at the rally in Coastal Andhra’s Guntur.
Hitting out at YSRCP leader Jaganmohan Reddy, who hopes to win big in Seemandhra, she said it was his father YSR “who made it clear in the state assembly in 2009 that he was not against the formation of Telangana.”
Jagan, who took a stand in favour of united Andhra after the bifurcation decision was announced last July, has been blaming the Congress for the division.
Gandhi also hit out at the TDP-BJP combine, saying a vote for the TDP will be a vote for the divisive forces in the country. “The TDP did not leave the NDA alliance when the 2002 riots took place in Gujarat,” she said.
The BJP had been constantly harping on how the Centre had not taken the interests of Seemandhra into consideration during the bifurcation. Gandhi said the Centre, in fact, had done just the opposite. “We went about it very carefully,” she said, listing the special packages, the national project status to Polarvaram and other goodies planned for the region.
To upstage Modi further, she said a petroleum university will be set up in the region.
Modi, in his rally in Seemandhra, had told the youths to go and study at the Petroleum University in Gujarat.
She also reminded the people that the educational opportunities in Hyderabad will be open to Seemandhra for 10 years and if voted to power, the UPA would set up top notch institutions to the region.