Talk of merger of two Telugu states lands Telangana Congress in trouble

Hyderabad: Seven years after the bifurcation of the combined Andhra Pradesh to carve out Telangana state, the talk of reunion of the two Telugu states has once again surfaced, kicking up a debate in the political circles.

On Sunday, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) working president and Sangareddy MLA T Jayaprakash Reddy alias Jagga Reddy called for a merger of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, pushing his party into an embarrassing situation.

Known for his straightforward and aggressive talk, Jagga Reddy said he strongly favoured a united Andhra Pradesh. “Not just now, I said it even during the peak of the Telangana agitation. Though I was called a traitor of Telangana, I stood by my word. Yet, I was elected as an MLA,” he said.

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Jagga Reddy was referring to a recent comment made by Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and the counter-reaction from Andhra Pradesh state information and public relations minister Perni Venkatramaiah alias Nani.

Speaking at the plenary of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi last week, KCR claimed that he had been getting calls from various sections of people in Andhra Pradesh, requesting him to launch the TRS in their state.

“Andhra Pradesh has been lagging behind Telangana in welfare and development; it is suffering from power crisis whereas we are power surplus. There is absolutely no comparison between Telangana and Andhra. In fact, there are requests from their people for launching TRS in Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

The Andhra minister, however, shot back saying there was no political vacuum in Andhra Pradesh and so, there is no scope for any new parties. “We don’t mind if KCR wants to launch TRS here. But there is no such need. He can ask the Centre to merge the two Telugu states so that his party can happily contest the elections all over a combined state,” he said.

Telangana PCC president A Revanth Reddy lost no time in trying to gain political mileage out of KCR’s statements and Nani’s counter. He said KCR’s comments smack of a large scale conspiracy for the merger of the two states once again.

“KCR wants to launch the TRS in Andhra with an eye on power in both the states and eventually make them reunite,” he alleged.

Jagga Reddy, too, believes that KCR did not make the comment so naively. “He has his own political tactics. I feel KCR and Jagan are the same and BJP might be behind them,” he said, adding that if the two states get united in future, it would happen only through consensus.

He defended his comments on the reunion of Telugu states and said they were purely his personal and had nothing to do with the party. “Revanth Reddy cannot prevent me from airing my personal views,” he asserted.

PCC campaign committee chairman Madhu Yashki said the party had nothing to do with Jagga Reddy’s comments on the merger of the two Telugu states. “Any statement questioning Sonia Gandhi’s decision to grant statehood to Telangana has no endorsement from the party,” he asserted.

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