No objection to separate Telangana, but consensus needed: Sonia


Hyderabad : Congress president Sonia Gandhi Saturday said here the party had no objection to carving out a separate state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh but was trying to evolve consensus on the issue.

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Addressing a massive public meeting, she merely reiterated the party’s stand on the issue, leaving Telangana supporters disappointed.

“As far as the demand for granting separate statehood to Telangana is concerned, the Congress party, in principle, does not have any objection to it. But there are problems and concerns associated with it and they can be solved through talks with all the people concerned,” she said.

Gandhi, who launched the party’s election campaign by addressing a public meeting in Khammam district on Friday and was on a two-day trip to the state, claimed that the global economic slowdown had no impact on India thanks to the vision of late prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

She said while Nehru chose mixed economy for the country, Indira Gandhi took up nationalisation of banks. “Even in this crisis, India is in a better situation than other countries,” she said.

Seeking the mandate of the people in the coming elections, she said the Congress party was not after power but was committed to serving the country.

“Elections are the time to decide who wants to take the country and state on the path of development and who wants to use your vote only to reach the seat of power,” she said while listing out the development and welfare programmes taken up by Congress-led UPA government at the centre.

“I am confident that this time also the Congress’ hand will get your support and we will together take Andhra Pradesh and our country to new heights,” she said while showering praise on the state’s Congress government.

Earlier state Congress president D. Srinivas said there was no need for any doubts on the fact that the people of Telangana were with the Congress party. “The huge turnout of the people today is a testimony to this,” he said.