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AP: Differences over Telengana mar the Grand Alliance

By Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
February 18, 2009 15:40 IST
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The Grand Alliance of opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh, headed by the Telugu Desam chief N Chandrababu Naidu, continues to suffer from teething problems and confusion. In a setback to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, one of the constituents of the alliance, the TDP president Chandrababu Naidu has made it clear that the GA will not have any common agenda or program.

"We will only have a common goal of defeating the Congress party," Naidu said after the meeting with the leaders of the GA constituents including the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

"Was there any common agenda for the United Progressive Alliance or the National Democratic Alliance at the Centre?", Naidu countered when asked about the issue. The TRS was trying to have a common agenda of the alliance, with the demand for a separate Telangana state as the constituent benchmark. But the fact that the CPI-M continues to be against the formation of Telangana state has become a stumbling block.

The TDP has said that on coming to power in the state, the party will pass a resolution in the state assembly for a Telangana state. The CPI has said that whenever such a resolution comes it will support it.

But the stand of the CPI-M has become an embarrassment for the TRS and its chief K Chandrasekhara Rao approached the CPI-M state leaders against making any anti-Telangana statements.

"It is making the position of the TRS suspicious in the eyes of the people of the region" Rao reportedly told N Narasimhaiah, the CPI-M floor leader in the state assembly. But the CPI-M is not willing to mellow its stand and its state secretary B V Raghavulu has said that not Telangnaa but defeating the Congress is the prime objective of his party.

"Ban Andhra colleges"

Meanwhile in another development which will embarrass many in the GA, K Chandrasekhara Rao has promised to ban "Andhra educational institutions" after the formation of Telangana state.

Addressing a public meeting at Makhtal in Mahbubnagar district on Tuesday, the TRS chief said that the schools and colleges which had their base in Andhra region will not be allowed to run in Telangana.

He was referring to the network of corporate schools and colleges run by an organisation from coastal Andhra including the highly successful Chaitanya and Narayana in Hyderabad and other places of Telangana.

These institutions have been targeted by the TRS and other pro-Telangana forces in the recent years, but this is the first time that Rao spoke about banning them.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad