Denial of meeting with Sonia insult to party: Venkatswamy

February 17th, 2008 - 9:51 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Sonia Gandhi

Hyderabad, Feb 17 (IANS) G. Venkatswamy, senior Congress leader in Andhra Pradesh who is supporting the demand for a separate Telangana state, broke his silence Sunday and said denial to him of an appointment with party president Sonia Gandhi was an insult to the party. Venkatswamy, deputy leader of the party in the Lok Sabha and member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), told reporters here that it was unfortunate that he and the senior leaders from Telangana were not given an opportunity to meet the party president.

“It is an insult to the party which has the history of more than a century,” he said.

The party leaders from Telangana region had camped in the national capital for nearly a week earlier this month, waiting for an appointment with Gandhi so they could press their demand for separate Telangana. But they returned home disappointed Feb 10.

However, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was allowed to meet Gandhi Saturday in New Delhi. This was his second meeting with the party leader this month.

Venkatswamy’s remarks came a day after senior leaders decided to go public so as to “open the eyes of the party leadership”. He said he would also address the March 10 public meeting at Bhongir in Nalgonda district, about 50 km from here.

The former union minister reiterated his view that YSR, as the chief minister is popularly known, was a hurdle in the formation of a Telangana state. YSR told the state assembly last week that he was not a hurdle but he was not in a position to say “yes or no” to the demand.

Venkatswamy also criticised YSR for comparing Telangana issue with the Kashmir dispute. “His remarks comparing Telangana with Kashmir are unfortunate,” he said.

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