Appearing to be a relieved man, Chevella constituency MP and Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy while expressing happiness over the formation of Telangana gave equal importance to the extra care that Seemandhra needs after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
"I do not have fixed feelings because this is an hour of supreme joy for the 40 million people living in Telangana. If we flip through the pages of history books you will find that the demand for Telangana even precedes the creation of Andhra Pradesh," Reddy told CNN-IBN's editor-in-chief Rajdeep Sardesai in an exclusive interview.
"There is also an urgent imperative need to provide the healing touch to Seemandhra," the minister said when asked how the simmering anger in Seemandhra over the division should be dealt with.
The Union minister, however, rejected the idea that had the bifurcation been done earlier and not in the last week of the 15th Lok Sabha it would not have been so chaotic as it was now.
"Had it been done anytime before, the same kind of bitterness would have occurred and even if it was done by any other party in future, the same atmosphere would have prevailed," he said. "The decision to create Telangna was mentioned in the UPA Common Minimum Programme soon after elections in 2004. The President also mentioned it in his address. Again the commitment was made in 2009," the minister said defending the Congress decision to get the crucial bill passed in Parliament at the eleventh hour.
Reddy felt that Hyderabad had been the focal point which led to so much discord.
"Hyderabad was the bone of contention and the apple of discord. All other issues like water were solved more than satisfactorily. But the Hyderabad weather is pleasant. How can we supply Hyderabad weather in Vijaywada. Actually Hyderabad is not only about property though it is valuable. The Telugu people love Hyderabad. Did the Gujaratis leave Mumbai when Gujarat was created out of Maharashtra as was feared? In fact, they have only increased in number in Mumbai," the Union minister said.
"The local people have no problems. People who are not in politics and have some of their own vested interests do not want this bitterness to go away. We must face these people in fait accompli and ask them to adjust," he said.
On being asked if he wishes to take over the reins of Telangana as the chief minister, Reddy said, "I will never make any such claims. I have always been follower of my own ethics."
Published Date: Feb 21, 2014 07:33 am | Updated Date: Feb 21, 2014 09:34 am