A new political party was on Friday floated in Andhra Pradesh to fight for statehood for the Telangana region.
Former state minister T. Devender Goud, who quit the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) last month, said the new party would be called Nava Telangana Praja Party (NTPP).
He unveiled the party's name and unfurled the party flag amid fanfare in the presence of a large number of supporters at his residence in Hyderabad.
The turquoise blue colour flag has a map of the region, which comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad.
Goud, who was second-in-command in TDP, said the NTPP would emerge as a key political force in the state and achieve separate statehood for the region, which he alleged had suffered discrimination since its "forcible merger with then Andhra State in 1956".
Goud, who was home minister during the previous TDP government, said the party would serve as a platform for all the forces fighting for a separate Telangana state.
Stating that the process of registering the party had started, he said its first public meeting would be organised in Hyderabad on Aug 27.
NTPP would be the second major political party after Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), which was floated in 2000 by K. Chandrasekhara Rao following his departure from TDP.
The party has been launched at a time when leaders from Telangana region in both the ruling Congress and TDP were mounting pressure on their leaders to take a clear stand in favour of separate Telangana before the elections.
The NTPP, along with the party proposed to be launched by Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi next month, are likely to change the political equation in the state, which was so far dominated by only two parties.