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225 MLAs will vote against Telangana resolution: Rajagopal

Source: PTI
December 13, 2009 14:18 IST
In an apparent bid to scuttle the move to form Telangana, Congress Member of Parliament L Rajagopal on Sunday threatened to go on a hunger strike if a resolution favouring the separate state was not introduced in the Andhra Pradesh assembly, which, he claimed, will be opposed by 225 members of Andhra Pradesh assembly.

Rajagopal, the Vijayawada MP who has resigned his Lok Sabha seat, said he would join the movement for a unified Andhra Pradesh and against creation of Telangana.

"The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government has asked the state government to move a resolution in the assembly. The resolution should be moved. I will meet Chief Minister (K Rosaiah) on Monday in this regard. If the resolution is not moved I have decided to go on a hunger strike," he told a mediapersons in New Delhi.

Rajagopal claimed that the resolution favouring bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh would be defeated on the floor of the house by not less than 225 MLAs voting against it.

"Resolution should be moved...I am saying now that more than 225 MLAs will oppose the resolution. Even MLAs from Telangana will oppose the formation of a separate state. All Telugu-speaking people should be united...only some divisive people want a separate state," he said.

"The outcome of the resolution will make it clear to the country what the real situation is. They will come to know that the Andhra people don't want the state to be split," he said.

Rajagopal also claimed that the mnisters, who had on Saturday decided to quit, have decided to continue in office.

Rajagopal evaded a direct reply to questions whether he resigned as a sitting member of Lok Sabha expressing opposition to the formation of a separate state of Telangana, but said there will be 'by-elections to Vijayawada.'

"There will be by-elections to Vijayawada and I have told the high command that it should field a candidate from Telangana so that the broadmindedness of the Andhra people will be proved," he said.

Rajagopal also made it clear that he will not contest the seat in the by-election. The Congress leader said he had submitted his resignation in the 'right and appropriate manner' and refused to disclose the contents of his letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

Rajagopal said all the Telugu-speaking areas of Andhra Pradesh, including Telangana, were one and they were unified from the erstwhile Madras and Hyderabad states on the basis of language.

"Telangana means a place that belongs to those speaking Telugu. So all the 23 districts of Andhra are Telangana. We don't want to weaken the Telugu-speaking state. All Telugus should remain one. Why should we weaken ourselves and lose the bargaining power in a federal system?" Rajagopal asked.

The Congress leader said, "Telangana was part of Hyderabad and it is not the other way around. No one can stake claim on it. The entire state of Andhra Pradesh belongs to us all."

The Congress leader said the decision to create Telangana was announced not by the party, but by the UPA government. Rajagopal said Chief Minister K Rosaiah need not resign on the issue.

To a question whether properties and assets of his Lanco group of companies in Hyderabad were the reason for his opposition to creation of Telangana, Rajagopal said his firm has assets and properties in 15 states and abroad. "So this logic does not apply here. In fact, if that was true, I should be scared and not expressing my opinion openly," he said.

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