Hyderabad, Aug 9: Breaking his silence over Telangana issue, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Thursday asked the central government to address all issues before taking any step to form a separate Telangana state.
Addressing a news conference here this evening, he came out openly against formation of Telangana state, saying bifurcation would lead to many complications.
His remarks evoked sharp reaction from Congress party leaders from Telangana, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other pro-Telangana groups, who demanded his resignation.
Nine days after the Congress Working Committee (CWC) resolved to carve out Telangana state, the chief minister said the central government should address all issues including status of Hyderabad before taking any step.
Even while stating that he is neither against the CWC decision nor welcoming it, Kiran Kumar Reddy voiced apprehensions of people of Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra regions).
The chief minister, who hails from Rayalaseema, demanded that four-member constituted by Congress and the ministerial group to be formed by the union cabinet should address all issues and give clarity to people before taking any step.
He claimed that only Congress had taken the decision and now the central government would consult the state and the issue would be debated in the assembly.
He wanted the two committees to give clarity on issues like sharing of river water, electricity among two states, status of Hyderabad and the future of Seemandhra employees living in Hyderabad.
"There are genuine concerns. There are concerns connected with common people of all regions. A problem can't be solved by creating a bigger problem. We have to see solution for all regions for all people from both regions," he said.
Kiran Reddy revealed that during the meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he opposed state's division. He said he also signed a note prepared by Congress leaders from Seemandhra opposing bifurcation.
He said if the state is bifurcated, Telangana would face severe electricity shortage. He said the shortage would be more than 50 percent.
Appealing to Seemandhra employees to reconsider the decision to go on strike from Aug 12, he promised to arrange a meeting with the Congress committee headed by Defence Minister A.K. Antony in Hyderabad. He said employees, students, NGOs and other sections of people can express their views before the panel.
He said there was a need to give a clarity over the status of Hyderabad as it is the hub of education, health, government and private employment.
Kiran Reddy pointed out after formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956, people from Seemandhra came to Hyderabad.
"Lawyers, doctors, businessmen and others came here saying this is our state capital and hoping that they will have good future. Their children were born and brought up here and after so many years, if they are told this is a different state then what will be their sentiments. How are they going to address this," he asked.
Kiran Reddy blamed late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy for state's division. "Even before TRS was formed, Rajasekhara Reddy had sent to Congress leadership a memorandum signed by 41 MLAs from Telangana," he said.
The chief minister's remarks evoked strong criticism from his own party leaders from Telangana. MP Ponnam Prabhakar said a meeting of MPs on Friday would discuss his statement.
TRS leader K. Tarakarama Rao demanded Kiran Reddy's resignation saying he was not fit to continue on the post.
BJP state president G. Kishan Reddy alleged that Congress leadership was behind the chief minister's remarks.