Opposition urges Election Commission to act against YSR

April 17th, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Hyderabad, April 17 (IANS) The alliance of opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh Friday urged the Election Commission to take strong action against Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy for allegedly “stoking regional feelings”.
The four-party alliance led by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) submitted a memorandum to state’s Chief Electoral Officer I.V. Subba Rao demanding action against the chief minister for stating that people from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions would become foreigners if a separate Telangana state is carved out.

TDP leader K. Rammohan Rao told reporters that the chief minister had violated the model code of conduct by inciting people of one region against the other.

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), which is fighting for separate statehood to Telangana, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) are the other constituents of the ‘Maha Kootima’ or the grand alliance of opposition parties.

In a separate memorandum to CEO, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded criminal action against the chief minister for making “provocative” remarks.

Soon after the first phase of polling was over in Telangana Thursday, Rajasekhara Reddy had made the controversial remarks at Nandyal in Kurnool district in Rayalaseema region while addressing a public meeting along with Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi.

YSR, as the chief minister is popularly known, warned people that if TDP and its allies came to power, settlers from others regions would become foreigners in Telangana, they would not be able to conduct business and they would be forced to shut down their educational institutions in the region. He also stated that the irrigation projects in Rayalaseema would also be affected.

YSR Friday tried to clarify his remarks saying he was only reiterating what TRS leader K. Chandrasekhara Rao had been saying.

“TDP is an opportunist as it has joined hands with such a party,” said YSR, whose Congress had an alliance with TRS in 2004 elections.

YSR’s remarks evoked strong evoked all round condemnation. The entire opposition, leaders of his own party in Telangana and even intellectuals condemned his remarks.

“He (YSR) is trying to provoke regional feelings. He bows before a foreigner from Italy but talking in such an irresponsible way about his own people,” said TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu while addressing an election meeting in coastal Andhra.

The opposition leader said the chief minister made the provocative statement as he feared defeat in Telangana and wanted to garner votes in other regions by stoking regional passions.

TRS alleged that YSR had insulted people of the region and demanded an apology.

“He made the remarks as he realised that his party will bite the dust in Telangana,” said TRS MP Vinod Kumar.

Praja Rajyam party leader and actor Pavan Kalyan said the chief minister’s statement was a proof that Congress was losing heavily in Telangana.

Eminent academician and member of state legislative council Chukka Ramaiah said the chief minister tried to raise regional feelings.

He said YSR should not forget that he is not the chief minister of Rayalaseema but the entire state.

“People of Telangana don’t consider people from other regions their enemies,” he said.

Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member V. Hanumanth Rao said he would bring to the notice of party’s central leadership the remarks made by the chief minister.

Senior Congress leader and former minister M. Satyanarayana Rao said it is unbecoming of a chief minister to instigate people of one region against the other. He warned that such remarks would damage the party. “Nobody can stop formation of separate Telangana,” he said.

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