AICC President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday gave full credit for the formation of Telangana to Congress party.
Addressing a massive public meeting in Karimnagar, Sonia Gandhi said that it was the Congress party which turned the 60-year-old dream of Telangana into a reality. She said the Congress introduced and passed the Telangana Bill in both the House of Parliament. She alleged that BJP tried to obstruct the Bill till last minute while the TDP openly opposed it, especially in Rajya Sabha.
Sonia Gandhi also said that Telangana Rashtra Samithi played no role in formation of Telangana. “While the TRS was formed in April 2001, about 40 Congress legislators from the region passed a resolution in September 2000 seeking statehood for the region. The resolution was submitted to me and the Congress party began the process then itself,” she claimed. However, she attributed the delay in Telangana formation to lack of consensus. She said it took lot of time to convince other groups on the issue and therefore, the decision was delayed.
The Congress president said that her party did not take a favourable decision due to political compulsions, but it was done to fulfill the wishes of four crore people. Further, Telangana was also aimed at imparting social justice and to ensure political empowerment of Dalits, Tribals, minorities, women and other oppressed classes, she said.
Praising the people of Telangana for protecting secularism in the region, she asked them to remain cautious against some forces who were trying to play divisive politics. She accused the BJP of dividing the people and also condemned the TDP for aligning with the BJP. She said some more parties might join the BJP in future due to their greed for power.
Stating that people of Telangana have waited for almost 60 years to see their dream turn into a reality, she said she came to Karimnagar to participate in the celebrations. “I salute the martyrs who laid down their lives seeking statehood for the region,” she said while praising the struggle of farmers, youth, women, advocates, students, intellectuals, teachers, employees and all other sections who took part in the statehood movement.
Sonia Gandhi assured that the Congress party would fulfill all the promises being made to the people of both Telangana and Seemandhra. She said people of both the State were close to her heart and she would never disappoint them. Both the States would get their rights and due share. She also listed out the promises being made to the people of Telangana in the ensuing elections. She indicated that the Pranahita Chevella might be given the status of a national project.
“We will fulfill all the promises with honesty, transparency, accountability and with people’s participation. The struggle period is over. Now we need a responsible government and only Congress can provide it,” she said. She also advised the people of Telangana to maintain cordial relationship with the people of Seemandhra.
Appealing the people to vote in favour of Congress candidates on April 30, Sonia Gandhi said their votes would enable a State which could provide peace, social justice and equal opportunities to all.
Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Working President C Uttam Kumar Reddy and former Deputy CM Damodar Rajanarasimha also addressed the meeting. The candidates of Congress party were also introduced on the occasion.