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Parties in Andhra want state division stalled until 2014 polls

Though the people of Andhra Pradesh seem to have more or less reconciled to the fact that bifurcation of the state is inevitable, political parties in Seemandhra are leaving no stone unturned to stall the proposed division process, at least till the 2014 elections.

The parties are at least trying to make people of Andhra and Rayalaseema regions believe this in the face of an unabated 85-day-old agitation for a united state.  'We couldn't stop Phailin cyclone, but we will certainly try to stop the (bifurcation) cyclone,' chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy sought to assure people of Seemaandhra recently.

Interestingly, two days prior to that Kiran spoke in a different tone suggesting that the Centre should go ahead with the state division only by following 'due procedure' that it followed during the creation of new states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand.

Union ministers like Panabaka Lakshmi, Daggubati Purandeswari and JD Seelam were candid, saying there was no stopping the division now, but Congress MPs like Vundavalli Arun Kumar - who have become the prime target of public anger - continue to promise that nothing would happen till the 2014 elections.

Some of these parliamentarians are suggesting - as their 'personal view'- that Hyderabad be made a Union Territory. Besides, J D Seelam, Guntur MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao was among those who are pitching for Hyderabad as UT.

Leaders of all hues in Telangana, however, exude confidence that the division Bill is sure to be passed in Parliament in the Winter Session and the new state will be in place by March next, ahead of the general elections.

Even the AP NGOs Association that spearheaded the government employees strike for 63 days against the proposed bifurcation, is also talking about the division process getting stuck till the elections.

'State division will not happen till 2014 elections. Subsequently, the onus will be on political parties to totally avert it,' Association president P Ashok Babu said.  The conflicting claims being made by Congress bigwigs in New Delhi and the public posturing of all political leaders - on either side of the divide -- in the state are apparently only for public consumption.

Behind the scenes, every party is obviously working its own strategy to outwit the other and derive political gains out of the state division controversy.
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