Rayalaseema and Seemandhra require special development packages: JD Seelam

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JD Seelam taking oath as Union Minister Photo: PTI
JD Seelam taking oath as Union Minister
Photo: PTI

The decision for a separate of Telengana has fallen through at successive meetings of the UPA coordination committee and Congress Working Committee. How do you view it being a Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra?

It is a good decision taken by the party not only in the interests of the state of Telengana but for all three regions of Andhra Pradesh. It is a win-win situation for all concerned.

What happens to Hyderabad? The resolution speaks of a shared capital for both states, under central administration.

The UPA has endorsed the proposal for dividing the state and the resolution included forming an empowered group of ministers which would work out all modalities including sharing of the present capital Hyderabad. As per the resolution, it would be for a period of 10 years. This has been done in the interests of Hyderabad’s population which comprises people from everywhere. We’ve to devise plans for their well-being, security and employment.

What should be the prime focus for the centre while looking at all steps following the division of Andhra Pradesh?

The prime issues for the government is to work out water sharing as agriculture is the backbone of the Andhra Pradesh economy.

We’re also keeping in mind entrepreneurial concerns of the people. Andhra had wanted to separate in 72 and Telengana leaders had asked them to stay on. So the concerns of the non-Telengana andhra people will be addressed, which are genuine concerns.

There has been very little growth in the Rayalseema and north Coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh. These require special focus and development packages.

There have been protests all over the state after the division of the state. How will you contain these protests and what is the way forward for people opposed to creation of Telengana?

Seelam: After division, the Telengana people are our brothers and we will persuade everyone for their cooperation. There is some dissent amongst various people but we have To educate and create awareness about the division. The division is a reality, tough as the decision might be for people to accept.

Twelve MPs including five union ministers today voiced dissent against the division of Andhra Pradesh in consonance with the popular protests. The MPs even stated they would have to leave the party. Will they now quit?

I was part of this group. Today, we’d shared our concerns with the party president, Sonia Gandhi, but that was prior to the meeting. Now, we’ll follow the party lines.

The Congress has endorsed this decision, which was proposed by other parties including the TDP and YSR. It was proposed by Rajashekhar Reddy and later endorsed by former CM Chandrababu Naidu. The proposals contained in the resolution carry the genuine aspirations of the people of all regions in the state. The dissent will disappear once people see what has been planned.

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