Rayalaseema leaders oppose merger with Andhra

Rayalaseema leaders oppose merger with Andhra

Leaders in the drought-prone Rayalaseema said on Wednesday that they are opposed to any unconditional merger of their region with coastal Andhra under the banner of Andhra Pradesh, making the task of uniting the regions post-bifurcation more challenging.

Leaders of YSR Congress (YSRC), Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and ministers in the ruling Congress held an emergency meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss the region’s future.

“Telangana people got a separate state, Andhra has Polavaram, what about Rayalaseema?” asked state minor irrigation minister TG Venkatesh. 

He said the chief minister, who also belongs to Rayalaseema, has promised that he would raise the matter with the high command and get a package for the region.

“We are also looking to file a PIL against the government, seeking reasons for dumping recommendations of the Sri Krishna Commission which has clearly stated the backwardness of the region. We want to know why the committee’s report was not discussed in Parliament,” Venkatesh demanded.

The leaders also warned that they would revive their demand for Greater Rayalaseema state unless they were given a fair share of river waters and one of its cities was chosen as capital for the divided state.

Minister for Law Erasu Pratap Reddy said the region was not ready for more sacrifices and added that Rayalaseema leaders would oppose the Telangana resolution in the state Assembly.

Another minister from the region, Sailajanath, who spoke to the press separately, said the ministers and MLAs from the region would meet again on Thursday and announce an action plan to safeguard the region’s legitimate rights.

Rayalasema Parirakshana Samithi President Byreddy Rajsekhara Reddy demanded a separate Rayalaseema state and rejected calls for a package.

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