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Talks with Naxalites priority: YSR

By A Correspondent
Last updated on: May 11, 2004 12:03 IST
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Congress leader from Andhra Pradesh Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, considered to be in the running for the chief minister's post, has said the newly elected Congress legislators will decide on who will become CM, "with the high command's blessings".

Asked if a leader will be imposed on the legislators, Reddy, popularly known as YSR, said, "There should be no problem in electing the leader."

Asked if the Congress party, which fought the elections in alliance with the Telengana Rashtra Samithi, will go in for a coalition government, Reddy said, "We have equal allies, but nothing has been decided if we will form a government alone, or with them." Everything, he added, will be "decided in the next two days."

As usual, he said, the high command will give "proper guidance and directions to us, and the legislators will go by it."

Asked if the new government will agree to a separate Telengana state as demanded by the TRS, Reddy said the Congress party has definite views on the formation of a separate state. "The TRS wants it immediately, we had passed a resolution two years ago saying the issue can be discussed. It should not be difficult to come to a decision," he said.

"I have no personal opinion on this. Whatever is the Congress view, I am in agreement with it," he added.

With the Chandrababu Naidu government earning praise from the likes of Microsoft's Bill Gates and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, what are its policies that will be retained? "Whatever decisions of the Telugu Desam government help the common man, we will not scrap them," Reddy said, "including in information technology. Whatever is good, will be kept."

Asked what the new government's priorities will be, he said farmers will be given free power immediately. "We have so many other priorities too, which will be implemented."

Speaking to the Naxalites who have unleashed violence in parts of the state, he said, is also on the list of priorities.

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A Correspondent