M A I N   N E W S

Cong to expose Advani’s ‘doublespeak’ on states
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 26
Former BJP president L.K. Advani who has been pressing the UPA government for the creation of Telangana during his ongoing yatra, had opposed the carving out of smaller states when he was Home Minister in the NDA regime.

In a letter addressed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi in 2002, Mr Advani had rejected her party’s demand for the constitution of a State Reorganisation Commission and suggested that the issue of creation of additional states was best avoided

The Congress is now all set to use this fresh ammunition to push the BJP on the back foot on this issue and also to expose Mr Advani’s “doublespeak.” The Congress has already ridiculed the BJP leader’s demand publicly and wondered why he failed to act on it when the NDA was in power for six years.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said it is well known that the BJP had deliberately put this issue on the backburner as it was under pressure from the TDP, its key ally then, which was opposed to the creation of Telangana. He said now that the TDP has severed its ties with the BJP, Mr. Advani has suddenly woken up to this demand.

In his four-year-old letter, Mr. Advani had pointed out that besides the demand for the creation of Vidarbh and Telangana, demands had also been raised for the creation of Bodoland, Harit Pradesh, Kamtapur and Poorvanchal.

“Setting up of a States Reorganisation Commission is bound to set off vociferous demands/agitations for the creation of these and may be other states ,” he said, stating that this will spark off pockets of unrest in large number of places.

Mr Advani maintained that the cases of Uttaranchal, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were different as the parent states wanted the creation of these states in addition to which there was a broad consensus across the political spectrum on this issue. He said the demand for the States Reorganisation Commission could be considered in the future provided there is a consensus on the matter and it is backed by a resolution of the legislature of the parent state.

The Congress move to nail Mr Advani’s lie follows speculation that the BJP is using this issue to embarrass the UPA government and provoke its ally, the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti, which has been unhappy.

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