Will fight for united Andhra, says chief minister
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Tuesday argued that his resignation would not help resolve the Telangana tangle and said he would stay on and fight for a united state.
"Quitting is not the solution here, we have to debate the issue. We have to convince the people of the state as to why it should be united," Reddy told CNN-IBN news channel in an interview.
"My post is not important but if I give it up, it will not help the cause. I will stay on and fight," he said.
Reddy, who is opposed to the central government's move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh, said the Congress top leadership needed to be persuaded over the issue.
"We have to convince our high command that it should be united. The problems which are going to arrive after division have never been debated in the public. It has to be debated," he said.
Asked if the Congress decision to divide the state was a mistake, Reddy said: "In the Seemandhra districts, there are a lot of concerns and worries about their future. So dividing the state without solving the problems is a very big concern of the people."
Capital Hyderabad, which will go to Telangana, is the bone of contention, he hinted.
"Nowhere in independent India, the capital of a state has ever been divided or it has gone to the other side," said Reddy.
"Then we have basic problems like distribution of river water, electricity, education which is Hyderabad centric. A lot of youngsters come to Hyderabad for education and most of the IT sector and industries are in and around Hyderabad," he said.
The proposal that Hyderabad would be a joint capital for 10 years was not acceptable, he said.
"It's not acceptance by me. The acceptance by people of Seemandhra and the acceptance by people of the state and people living in Hyderabad and surrounding areas is important," he said.
Many concerns on the proposed bifurcation of the state remain, said the chief minister.
"Not a single concern has been addressed as yet. The government of India has to address these concerns and satisfy the people of Seemandhra before going ahead," he said.
Reddy denied the Congress decision to divide Andhra Pradesh was aimed at political gains, especially the 17 parliamentary seats in Telangana.
"I don't think the state decisions should be taken on political considerations. We have to see in a holistic way the future of Andhra Pradesh and its people," he said.
Reddy said he had told the Congress chief that the concerns of the Telangana region can be addressed only in a united Andhra Pradesh.
"By being united, these problems can be sorted out better than being divided. Both politically and financially the state will be stronger if united," he said.
The first step towards any division of the state would be a resolution in the Andhra Pradesh assembly, said the chief minister.
"First the bill or the resolution has to come to the assembly. We have to debate it in the assembly. The concerns of the people have to be reflected in the assembly," he said.
"People of the state should be aware of what is happening. Only after it comes to the assembly, any call can be taken," he said.