Congress leaders seek early decision on Telangana

Hyderabad, June 30 (IANS) Congress leaders from Telangana have urged the party leadership to take a decision on granting separate statehood to the region without any further delay.

In their first-ever show of strength, Congress leaders held a public meeting here, attended by hundreds of people from various parts of the region.

The meeting is being organized amid the intensified efforts by the party's central leaders to take a decision on the contentious issue.

The meeting began with the paying of tributes to those who laid down their lives to achieve separate state and also to the pilgrims killed in Uttarakhand floods.

Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, senior minister K. Jana Reddy and other ministers from the region, party MPs and state legislators will address the meeting underway at Nizam College Grounds.

The public meeting will pass a resolution, demanding the central government to take an early decision on the issue.

State ministers Jana Reddy and D. Sridhar Babu said the Congress alone could deliver Telangana state. They said the leadership should respect the sentiments of the people and immediately make an announcement.

Sridhar Babu said Congress workers had been fighting for Telangana state for last 60 years. "We have full confidence that Telangana state will be formed under the leadership of (party chief) Sonia Gandhi," he said.

He made it clear that their slogan would be 'Jai Telangana, Jai Congress'.

Senior MP V. Hanumantha Rao said if Congress meets the demand for separate Telangana state, the party would win 15 out of 17 Lok Sabha seats in the region in the next year's elections.

Claiming that 1,000 people committed suicide over the delay in formation of Telangana state, he said the leadership should not further delay a decision.

Lok Sabha member from Secunderabad, Anjan Kumar Yadav, said only Telangana state with Hyderabad as its capital would be acceptable to them. "No other alternative will be acceptable," he said.

Earlier, the deputy CM led a motor bike rally. He along with other leaders paid tributes at Telangana martyrs' memorial in front of the assembly building before reaching the public meeting venue.

Unhappy over the delay in a decision by the leadership, two MPs and senior leader K. Keshava Rao had quit Congress party earlier this month to join Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

Following this development, the Congress leaders from the region decided to join hands and hold a meeting to convey their sentiments to the leadership. Telangana comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad.

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