Andhra Pradesh ministers on Monday criticised Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for "opposing" AP Reorganisation Act, saying their government was ready to negotiate all "contentious issues" with his government and find an amicable resolution in the larger interests of Telugu people.
"You were party to the AP Reorganisation Bill from its drafting stage. You were a party when the Bill was passed (high-handedly) in Parliament by the then UPA government (in February this year). The TRS joined hands with the Congress in enacting the legislation.
"Why are you opposing its provisions and raking up unnecessary controversies now," Andhra Pradesh ministers Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Kamineni Srinivasa Rao, Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, K Atchannaidu and Palle Raghunatha Reddy said at a press conference here this evening.
The issue was discussed at length at the meeting of state Cabinet here this afternoon wherein it was felt that the Telangana government was going on the "offencive" even as the AP government remained on the "defencive". The Cabinet also wanted to petition the President of India, Centre and the Governor (common for both states) over the "violation" of the AP Reorganisation Act by the Telangana government.
Launching a vitriolic attack on Telangana chief minister, the ministers said that the former never opposed any provision of the AP Reorganisation Bill when it was being passed in Parliament.
"You did not move a single amendment to the Bill and got it passed only because you got it drafted to suit your interests. You are now opposing the Act now only to gain political advantage," the ministers alleged.
They were referring to the Telangana government's objection to the Union Home Ministry's directive over granting of special responsibility to the Governor in accordance with Section 8 of the said Act.
"Were you not conscious of federalism and the Indian Constitution when the AP Reorganisation Bill was high-handedly passed, stifling the opposition voice?...Not only Section 8, KCR is also acting against Section 95 and the Schedules IX and X of the Act.
"Instead of calling others fascist, KCR should himself act in a democratic manner," the ministers said, referring to the Telangana chief minister's outburst against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom he called a "fascist".
Yanamala, the senior-most minister, said the Reorganisation Act clearly specified that the two (successor) states "sit, discuss and resolve" (contentious) issues amicably. "The Act provided for intervention of the Government of India if the two states could not mutually settle any dispute amicably through negotiations," he said.
The ministers said that taking legal recourse would be the ultimate option. "We are not for any confrontation as we are always for negotiated settlement of all issues. We are obeying the Act is (in) true spirit as the Telugu Desam Party is for the Telugu people. We are running our (state) government in a positive way...they are going in a negative way," Yanamala said responding to a query.
Recalling that Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu himself offered to discuss all issues with his Telangana counterpart, Yanamala said they would not hesitate to send a formal communication to the Telangana government, if required, for across the table discussions.
"Let them send their representatives. We will send our team so that we can negotiate and resolve all issues in an amicable manner," the minister said.