Attributing the Congress' nod for creation of separate Telangana state to the "sustained struggle by people", Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday alleged that the Congress had dithered on the issue for long and conceded it only ahead of elections.
While welcoming any forward movement on Telangana, Modi also raised doubts over the "intent" of the Congress-led UPA government over sticking to its stand on the issue this time around, citing repeated "dilly-dallying" in the past.
"Due to the power of people, Congress is forced to do in the last few days what it had shied away from doing in the last 9 years on Telangana," Modi said in an open letter to the people of Andhra Pradesh.
"Instead of facing the people of Andhra Pradesh all these years, Congress hid behind committees and reports. Will they apologise to the people of AP on this?" Modi said addressing the people as "dear brothers and sisters from all regions of Andhra Pradesh".
"Congress' conduct on Telangana has neither been transparent nor consistent. The decision, which comes a few months before elections, has political colours," said the BJP's election campaign committee chief, who is viewed as the saffron party's most likely candidate for the prime ministership in 2014.
"Friends, the Congress party which won in 2004 on the promise of Telangana, has played cynical games with the aspirations and sentiments of the people for nine long years".
"Now, at a time when there are only a few months left before the people of this country vote again, the Congress party is rushing to announce Telangana. This raises serious concerns about the seriousness and intentions of Congress," Modi said in the letter.
"After winning handsomely in Andhra Pradesh under the leadership of Dr YS Rajashekhara Reddy in 2004 and 2009, Congress has turned its back on this state since the former chief minister died," Modi said.
"While we welcome any forward movement on the issue of Telangana, we yet again ask how real is the intent of the Congress and UPA government this time around," Modi said in his letter.
"In December 2009, the then home minister Shri P Chidambaram had announced the commencement of the process for statehood to Telangana only to be withdrawn hastily. The Congress party had then sought to buy time by creating another committee on the question of Telangana," Modi said.
"But it remained indifferent to the collapse in administration, political violence and the unfortunate spectre of suicides by youngsters of Telangana. Meanwhile, governance came to a standstill in Andhra Pradesh," he charged.