The Chief Minister also pointed an accusing finger at the Centre for dividing the Telugu people who stood by the Congress whenever the party was in crisis. The Telugu people stood firmly behind Indira Gandhi in the past, he said. Kiran Reddy reminded the party leadership that when Indira Gandhi was in dire situation in 1977, the people of Andhra Pradesh gave her 41 out of 42 Lok Sabha seats.
He further said that the Telugu people had also helped the Congress to come back to power in 2004 and again 2009 with huge majority by giving 29 and 33 Lok Sabha seats respectively and questioned his party leaders: “What is the sin committed by Telugu-speaking people to deserve this kind of punishment (bifurcation)”.
Kiran Reddy alleged that the Congress high command had decided to divided the State at the request of the Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS)) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) and the YSR Congress Party chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, besides the TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu who gave a letter in favour of bifurcation.
“If you (high command) want to share power with KCR, take him into the Congress and make him Chief Minister or if you want Jagan you make him Chief Minister. You can even take Chandrababu Naidu into the party fold and anoint him Chief Minister. But don’t divide Andhra Pradesh”, Kiran Reddy told his leadership without mincing words. He also cautioned the Congress against cutting the branch while sitting on it terming it as disastrous.
The Chief Minister took strong exception to the way the Central government had handled the division demand turning a blind eye and deaf ears to the Seemandhra people.
He said more than six lakh employees had been fighting against division for more than 150 days and wondered why the high command did not consider their views. He ridiculed the top leadership of his own party for closing eyes, ears and mouth when an unprecedented movement was going on in Seemandhra demanding to keep the State united.
“It is not too late. The wrong decision can be corrected and the proposal to divide can be dropped,” he said, hoping that the high command would take the views of the majority before it is too late. He said that there was nothing wrong in correcting a faulty decision for the good of the majority people.
Kiran Reddy said the State had benefited from the river waters because of the unity. The Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar projects were constructed for irrigation and power generation in the State only because of the unity. “Had the State not been one since 1956, we would not have achieved these two prestigious projects,” he said. He narrated the benefits reaped by the people of Talangana in areas of education and irrigation because of the united State.
The Chief Minister cautioned that bifurcation would ruin both Telangana and Seemandhra. He repeated thrice that he would not allow bifurcation of the State at any cost.
Kiran Reddy’s tone was set by the Ministers and the MP who spoke before him. The Minister for Secondary Education K Partha Saradhi, Minister in charge of Krishna district Thota Narasimham, local MP, Lagadapati Rajagopal, Congress legislator Malladi Vishnu described Kiran Reddy as champion of Samaikyandhra movement requesting him to set the agenda for the people to save the State from being divided. He made the people in the meeting to raise the slogan “united State is our policy”.