Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh today said YSRCP chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy has "forgotten" the commitment on formation of Telangana given to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly by his father and then chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy on behalf of Congress.
"On 12th February, 2009, Rajasekhara Reddy reiterated the commitment of the Congress party on Telangana in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly," Ramesh told reporters at the district headquarters town of Mahabubnagar. "It's a different matter today that his son has floated a new party--YSRCP--in the name of his father, but the son has forgotten his father," Ramesh said.
The Union minister is the part of Group of Ministers (GoM) who drafted the Telangana bill. Jagan is against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and is reportedly gaining traction in Seemandhra where passions are running high over the division of the state.
Ramesh also sought to downplay the spate of defection of party leaders and legislators from Seemandhra, where Congress is projected to be staring at a huge loss in elections. "People who want to protect their business interests are leaving Congress, but people whose political interests are with Congress are remaining with it," Ramesh said.
Congress is virtually isolated in Telangana--slated to officially become the 29th state of the country on June 2-- after TRS refused to merge or to have any electoral alliance with the national party.
Ramesh also took on the TRS, saying the Congress had raised its voice for a separate state much before the regional outfit had come into existence. "Congress raised its voice for creation of Telangana state in September 2000 at Mahbubnagar. The TRS was not even born at that time," Ramesh said.
The Union minister addressed a meeting of families of the youths who were said to have ended their lives for the cause of Telangana. "It was the Congress that eventually delivered Telangana," he said.
Promising that Congress would stand by the families of the youths who "sacrificed" their lives for Telangana, Ramesh said, "The party's manifesto would incorporate measures for providing pensions and employment opportunities to families of victims." He also announced that a memorial park would be built in Hyderabad in honour of those who lost their lives.
Telangana Congress Committee president Ponnala Lakshmaiah also attacked TRS over the latter's claim of "re-constructing" Telangana. "Re-construction is a misnomer. The TRS is only trying to hoodwink people of the region," Ponnala alleged.
TPCC working president N Uttam Kumar Reddy said the Congress would win 12 Lok Sabha and 75 Assembly seats on its own in the region. "It will only be a family and feudalistic rule if TRS comes to power," he said.
Rajya Sabha member V Hanumantha Rao organised the event in which many MPs and senior leaders took part. Lok Sabha and Assembly elections will be held simultaneously in Andhra Pradesh.