Naidu walks out, accuses Cong of 'match fixing'

Naidu walks out, accuses Cong of 'match fixing'

Naidu walks out, accuses Cong of 'match fixing'

The Telangana issue reverberated in the National Integration Council meeting on Monday when TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu walked out in a huff accusing Congress president Sonia Gandhi of preventing him from raising the matter and hurting the “Telugu pride”.

Naidu also alleged that Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Finance Minister P Chidambaram joined Gandhi in stopping him from speaking about Telangana.

The TDP leader, whose party is pushed to the margins as Congress, TRS and YSR Congress are on the ascendancy in Andhra Pradesh, wanted to raise the Seemandhra protests in the meeting convened to deliberate the growing communal violence.

Gandhi reportedly objected, informing Naidu that the NIC is not the right forum to raise the Telangana issue. She was joined by Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

Chidambaram asked him to walk out if he wished but he would never be allowed to talk on Telangana in the NIC meeting, Naidu claimed.  Naidu told reporters outside the Vigyan Bhavan, "I was interrupted midway (while speaking).

The Home Minister and UPA chief started saying no (to Telangana). It is a fact that Andhra Pradesh is burning, people are agitating. If I am not allowed to speak about the issue in a forum where the top leadership of the country is present, where will I go?"

He said protests and strikes have crippled Seemandhra and the region continues to be tense.

He was stopped from talking about Telangana, even as Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was given an opportunity to speak on the statehood demand by the Bodos following Telangana. “They have hurting the Telugu pride,” he said.

Reacting to Naidu’s walkout, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the meeting was about communal harmony and not on Telangana. “It wasn’t proper for a former Chief Minister to raise this issue,” he said.

On a separate question, Shinde said Telangana is not coming up for discussion in Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.

Naidu is believed to be raising the pitch over the bifurcation issue after his party gave its written consent.

Despite his refusal in admitting his party’s diminishing influence in the state, the Telangana decision changed the political equations in the state as the TDP was “pushed to the corner” by the Congress and TRS in Telangana and the YSR Congress in Seemandhra.

Naidu has been camping in Delhi for the past couple of days meeting political leaders to seek support for his campaign against Congress on the Telangana issue.
Later, addressing a press conference, he said the NIC meeting is supposed to discuss sensitive issues and Telangana qualified as one.

“There is uncertainty in the state. The state has been in doldrums for the past four years. The administration has been paralysed. For two years, there was trouble in Telangana. Now the trouble is in Seemandhra,” he said.

He alleged that there was “match-fixing” between Congress and TRS in Telangana region, and Congress and YSR Congress in Seemandhra region.  “YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy has been granted bail.

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