New Delhi : Congress MP Madhu Goud Yaskhi Thursday said the movement for a separate Telangana state carved out of Andhra Pradesh has not lost its edge and has mass support.
“Those who think the movement is gone are wrong. They thought so in 1969 as well,” Yaskhi said at a discussion on the Telangana issue here.
Nearly 400 people were killed in police firing during various large-scale agitations to press the demand for a separate Telangana state in 1969.
“There is difference between Telangana and other parts of the state in every field, from education to health and employment. Coastal Andhra and Rayalseema have a medical college in every district, but Telangana region has only one medical college in 10 districts,” Yaskhi said.
“This is a people’s movement, not just a students’ agitation. People from all communities are supporting it. It is a struggle for our pride and the right of self governance,” he added.
Speaking against the bifurcation of the state, Congress MP from Vijaywada L. Rajagopal said division of the state is not a solution.
“How far you can divide, go deep into the problem and find out if there is a need for division. We have given the facts to the Srikrishna Committee and it appears at least now they are not talking about backwardness,” said Rajagopal.
Drawing parallels with the Khalistan movement, he said that the seeds of the movement were sown during the struggle for a separate state for Punjabi speaking population.
“Seeds of separation were sown in Punjabi minds because of the 10-year long struggle for a separate state. This resulted in the Khalistan movement,” Rajagopal observed.
Strongly objecting to the comparison, Yaskhi said: “Asking for a smaller state is not asking for a separate country. We will live under the same constitution. Don’t compare it with Khalistan”.