The tale of two fasts, held over 1,200 km apart, is moving fast into a war zone. At stake -- the title of biggest champion of united Andhra.
On the eve of TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu’s fast in Delhi against the “injustice to the Telugu people”, YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy -- who is already on his second day of hunger strike -- has challenged him to openly support a united Andhra.
Naidu, who had been a fence-sitter on the Telangana issue for long, has given the Centre a 24-hour deadline to review the “unilateral” decision. But Reddy was not about to let the sudden shift pass. The Congress did not escape his ire either.
“Over 60% of the people in the state had come out on streets against the statehood decision, so how can it be in the interest of the people?” he said. “This is a political decision of the Congress with an eye on the elections. I might have lost some seats in Telangana with my stand. But I do not play politics on this issue.”
On Sunday, hundreds of supporters thronged Reddy’s Lotus Pond home in posh Banjara hills. Among them was Lakshmi Devi, 45, who, with her husband and daughters, had come for a closer look at their beloved leader.
“Traditionally, we have been Congress supporters. But we were also followers of YSR and now we support his son in this fight,” said the housewife from Mehdipatnam.
Though the family is from Guntur, Hyderabad has been their home for several years. “Why should Hyderabad belong only to Telangana?” she questioned, echoing the sentiments of the crowd.
Hyderabad will not be the only sticky issue in the bifurcation. The Seemandhra region will have no water, even drinking water, Reddy pointed out.