‘We apologise…’, says Chidambaram on Telangana agitation

The senior Congress leader was responding to the accusation of CM KCR that the UPA government had delayed the formation of Telangana resulted in the loss of lives.

Hyderabad: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday apologised for the loss of lives during the Telangana statehood agitation.

Speaking to media persons here, the former Union minister also said creating a state or dividing a state is not child’s play and it can’t be done “just like that” and it is in response to people’s movement.


“A suicide is an unfortunate incident. If in the people’s movement some people lost their lives in the agitation…we are sorry for that. But you can’t hold the (then) central government responsible for that,” Chidambaram told reporters, responding to the accusation of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao that the previous UPA government had delayed the formation of Telangana resulted in the loss of lives.

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He further said Telangana was formed in response to people’s movement. Chidambaram, however, alleged that over 4,000 suicides were reported in Telangana under K Chandrasekhar Rao-led BRS government and sought to know who was responsible for those suicides.

“A state is created after a movement like the original Andhra Pradesh was created. A state is divided in response to people’s movement. If some lives have been lost we are sorry for that. But what about the 4,000-odd suicides in Telangana under KCR’s government? Who is responsible for those suicides?” he asked.

During his poll rallies, Rao had charged Congress with delaying the formation of Telangana. Though the previous UPA government agreed to the formation of Telangana after he began an indefinite fast, it went back on its word. Later, the UPA government fulfilled its promise only after massive protests, he had said.

Rao also blamed the Congress for the deaths during the statehood agitation and said the Congress delayed its approval for a new state. Chidambaram further said Rao emerged as a prominent leader of that movement and that is why he is the Chief Minister today.

“I hope KCR is not saying that the people have nothing to do with that and I got Telangana… I hope he is not saying that and if he is saying that then people will answer him in the elections,” Chidambaram said.
The former Union Minister recalled that it was after a great amount of work and persuasion that Congress agreed that Telangana would be carved out and that he had announced it on December 9, 2009, following which Chandrasekhar Rao called off his fast.

“He (KCR) profusely thanked us. But, another agitation broke out. And Justice Srikrishna Commission was appointed, which gave six recommendations. Ultimately, the Congress party and the government in the Centre agreed to divide united Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh,” Chidambaram added.

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