Indira Gandhi prevented bifurcation of AP, says Kiran

Indira Gandhi prevented bifurcation of AP, says Kiran

Despite the UPA government putting the process of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh on a fast track, state Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who is opposed to the division, continued his defiance and invoked the late Indira Gandhi’s position on the issue to buttress his point.

Speaking after paying floral tributes to Indira Gandhi, on the occasion of her death anniversary, he recalled that the former Prime Minister had steadfastly stood for keeping AP united and said, “I am following in her footsteps and repeating what she had said in support of an integrated state.”

While replying to a debate in Parliament on December 21, 1972, Indira Gandhi had declared that she was an “integrationist" and stood for keeping AP united. She had said: “I stand very firmly for an integrated state. There is no state in India which does not have backward areas. Relatively backward and advanced areas exist not only in all states but in different regions of the same state. The Telangana region may be a backward region but it does have better-off areas. Merely because an area is comparatively backward is not reason enough for taking drastic or irreversible decisions. There is an overall rationality in the formation of our various states and we should be very careful not to break this foundation... in momentary passions.”

Praising Indira Gandhi for keeping the state united in the face of separate statehood agitations in the past, Kiran said, “If we are all united in Andhra Pradesh and if the country has developed so much, it is only because of Indira Gandhi. She was such a great leader.”

The Chief Minister was speaking at an official function in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam.

“She successfully controlled the agitations for separate Telangana and Andhra to keep the state united for its overall development and welfare,” he said.

“I have only reiterated what she (Indira Gandhi) said. I have not said anything wrong,” Kiran said.

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