Chandrababu Naidu launches yatra, blames Congress for division

Hyderabad, Sep 1 (IANS) In an attempt to cash in on "Samaikhya Andhra (united Andhra)" sentiment in Seemandhra, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu Sunday launched the Telugu self-respect yatra.

At a time when Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra) is witnessing continuing protests over Congress Working Committee's decision to carve out separate Telangana state, Naidu launched the bus yatra from Pondugula in Guntur district, blaming the Congress for creating a wedge between Telugu-speaking people.

Naidu, who plans to cover all 13 districts of Seemandhra, justified the ongoing protests saying injustice was done to people of Seemandhra.

He suggested that people of both Seemandhra and Telangana be made to sit together and solve the problems amicably.

While admitting that TDP demanded the central government to solve Telangana issue, the former chief minister said while dividing the state, all problems arising out of this should be solved.

He contended that the manner in which Congress dealt with the issue created apprehensions and created a sense of insecurity among people of Seemandhra.

"They are afraid to go to Hyderabad and they also have the fear that they will not get jobs there," he said.

Naidu, who was chief minister from 1995 to 2004, claimed that during TDP rule, Telugus lived like 'Ram Lakshman' but the Congress had pitted them against each other.

He alleged that it was late chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy who raised the Telangana issue by sending 41 legislators from Telangana to Delhi, seeking a separate state. "YSR started all this and Sonia Gandhi completed it," he said.

Naidu said both YSR Congress Party and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had colluded with Congress for their vested interests. "YSR Congress wants bail for its leader (Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy) while TRS wants a package," he alleged.

Naidu said it was TDP which was formed and fought for Telugu self-respect and it was during its rule that Hyderabad got global recognition. "We put Hyderabad on the path of development and provided employment to people," he said.

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