Former TDP leader plans moves for Telangana state

June 24th, 2008 - 6:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, June 24 (IANS) Former Telugu Desam Party (TDP) stalwart T. Devender Goud Tuesday vowed to fight for a separate Telangana state and hinted at launching a new party, a day after he quit Andhra Pradesh’s main opposition party. Goud, who was politburo member and second-in-command in the TDP, ruled out joining the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and said he would announce his future course of action June 28.

Goud, who also resigned as member of state assembly, told a news conference that he would hold a meeting with intellectuals June 28 to decide his future course of action.

“We will take views of all intellectuals and those fighting for separate Telangana to decide what should be our role and how should we move ahead,” he said at his residence in the presence of his followers.

“I am appealing to all intellectuals and Telangana protagonists to guide us. We will follow them. We are ready to work as soldiers and sacrifice even our lives for the cause,” said Goud, who has not invited any political party for the June 28 meeting.

Goud, a former minister and three-time legislator, and TDP general secretary E. Peddi Reddy resigned Monday to protest the party’s delay in taking a stand in favour of carving out of Andhra Pradesh a separate Telangana state.

The resignations came as a shot in the arm for five-decade-old movement for separate statehood to Telangana region, which comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad.

Goud, who sharply criticised both the TDP and the ruling Congress for failing to respect Telangana sentiments, ruled out joining TRS, which is presently spearheading the movement for a separate state.

“There is no question of joining the TRS. We will not join the TRS under any circumstances,” he said.

“We want to adopt a different model. Elections alone are not going to solve the problem. Our concern is what after Telangana? We need selfless leaders and we want to build leaders who can dedicate themselves to the development of the new state and who have sacrificing nature,” he said.

Hinting that his style of functioning would be different from TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, Goud said he would like to involve poor, farmers, Dalits and minorities in the movement.

Goud accused all political parties of failing to recognize Telangana self-respect.

“Anybody who talks about Telangana and takes up democratic movement is being painted by these parties as selfish and one running after political gains. This is painful,” he said.

Explaining the reasons for quitting the TDP, Goud said the party leadership was gagging his voice and failing to take note of the Telangana sentiment. He came down heavily on the Congress and accused it of looting the resources of the region by selling lands and diverting water.

“Right from the merger of Telangana with Andhra, the Congress betrayed and cheated people of the region. The party used people of the region as a tool to gain power,” he said.

Goud said there was a need to create awareness on the need for separate Telangana.

Arguing that two states were viable, he recalled that Telangana was existing as Hyderabad State before the merger with Andhra State in 1956.

“Telangana was merged against the wishes of its people and after the merger, they suffered injustice and discrimination in all walks of life,” he said.

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