N Kiran Kumar Reddy invokes Indira to underline united Andhra Pradesh stand
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Asserting that Andhra Pradesh was able to achieve substantial progress as it was a big state which had remained united, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Friday hoped that the status quo would be maintained even as the Centre proceeds on its decision to carve a separate Telangana out of its territory.
Speaking at the official Andhra Pradesh Formation Day celebrations here, Reddy remarked that the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had been a staunch integrationist as he reiterated his views against the state's bifurcation.
Reddy has been championing the cause of a united Andhra Pradesh although the Congress Working Committee and Union Cabinet have decided in favour of a separate Telangana.
"The state and the people are in... uncertainty. There is confusion whether we will celebrate the Formation Day festival again or not. I pray to 'Telugu Thalli' (Telugu mother) that this festival continues the same way."
Averring that Gandhi was a staunch integrationist, Reddy said her move to contest elections from AP showed her confidence in the wisdom of its people. "(Gandhi) said in Parliament on December 21, 1972, that the future of Andhra Pradesh should be thought of for the next 100 years with foresight.
"She had said, 'the slogan of 'Visalandhra' (united Andhra) still resonates in my ears and I am a strong integrationist'," Reddy stated. India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, laid the foundation for unifying Telugu-speaking people on November 1, 1956 (AP formation day), and leaders from AP like PV Narasimha Rao and Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy steered the entire country, Reddy added.
Andhra Pradesh was the first state in the country to be formed on the basis of a common language, a demand for which Potti Sriramulu sacrificed his life and Boorgula Ramakrishna Rao gave up his Chief Minister's post, Reddy observed.
Andhra Pradesh has been able to build huge irrigation projects like Nagarjuna Sagar, Sriram Sagar, Srisailam because it remained as one state, he said. The state remained strong politically and economically and also carried influence because the Telugu people remained united, stressed Reddy