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Congress refutes Narendra Modi's charge of unilaterally dividing Andhra Pradesh

Friday, 2 May 2014 - 9:02pm IST | Agency: IANS

The Congress Friday strongly rebutted charges by BJP leader Narendra Modi accusing Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi of insulting the Telugu population by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh unilaterally.

Accusing Modi of making "false statements" and "breaching the decency of the political discourse", union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh to create the new state of Telangana "was not taken in haste".

"All the stakeholders were consulted and the issue was discussed in both houses of Parliament. The prime minister called an all-party meeting to discuss the same. The amendments suggested to the bill were accepted. On March 2, the cabinet gave its approval and granted a special package to Seemandhra," said Sharma.

He also dismissed Modi's claim that Telangana was a result of BJP's support to the bill as contradictory to his own previous stance on the issue.

"In July 2013, he had tweeted that Telangana was an achievement of the people of the region," said Sharma.

The minister also reacted sharply to Modi's allegation about the Congress-led government being a "mother-son government" and termed it "juvenile".

"Sonia Gandhi is the elected president of the Congress party. She is an elected member of parliament. She is the chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance and the Congress leads it. What Modi has said is ill-mannered and foolish," he said.

Sharma added Sonia Gandhi refused the prime ministership in 2004 while Rahul Gandhi declined to work as a minister in the government and instead preferred to work towards strengthening the organisation.

Taking pot-shots at the BJP, Sharma accused the RSS of running it through remote control. "It is the RSS which decides who will be the president of the BJP. Their leaders follow the instructions issued from Jhandewalan (RSS office in Delhi) like loyal soldiers," alleged Sharma.

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