Division of Andhra Pradesh not acceptable: Seemandhra leaders

Hyderabad, Jan 17 (IANS) Concerned over indications that the central government has decided to carve out Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh, ruling Congress party leaders from Rayalaseema and Andhra regions Thursday said the state's division is unacceptable to them.

In a resolution passed at the meeting here, the leaders of Seemandhra, as the two regions are usually referred to, urged the centre to keep the state united.

"The meeting of ministers, legislators of Rayalaseema and Andhra met in Hyderabad and resolved that nothing short of united Andhra Pradesh is acceptable to us," said the resolution.

S. Sailajanath, a cabinet minister and convenor of Samaikhya Andhra (united Andhra) Forum, said the meeting endorsed the statement made by then prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1972.

"In the interest of the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country and in the interest of Telugu people, the meeting endorsed the statement made by Srimati Indira Gandhi on Nov 27, 1972 in Lok Sabha," said Sailajanath.

"I stand firmly for the integrated state of Andhra Pradesh after considering all pros and cons of two agitations," Gandhi had said then.

The resolution will be sent to the central government and to the central leadership of the party. The leaders also plan to visit Delhi on Jan 21.

Sailajanth told reporters after the meeting that Congress party and the people of the state can benefit only if the state remains united.

He said 68 leaders from the two regions, including 14 ministers and two MPs, attended the meeting.

He claimed that other ministers and MPs could not make it due to various reasons but conveyed that they support whatever decision the meeting takes.

The meeting was held at Ministers' Quarters amid protests by groups, fighting for separate statehood to Telangana.

Two ministers T.G. Venkatesh and E. Pratap Reddy, who met some Congress leaders in Delhi Wednesday, reportedly told the meeting that the centre had decided to carve out Telangana state.

After an all-party meeting on Telangana on Dec 28, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had said that a decision would be taken within a month.

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