Hyderabad: Regretting that he would not ‘come out in the open’, Union Minister for Petroleum S Jaipal Reddy on Thursday attributed the constraints of being a member of the Union Cabinet for his inability to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Congress party leaders from Telangana on the separate statehood demand.
Talking to members of a delegation of Congress leaders from Telangana who took part in a luncheon meeting hosted by him at his residence, Mr Jaipal Reddy told them that he is restrained by the responsibility of being a member of the Union Cabinet.
“As a responsible Union Cabinet Minister, I have to follow certain rules and regulations. It is not possible for me to extend direct support to Telangana agitation. However, I can extend my support to Telangana agitation indirectly and make efforts towards the formation of a separate state,” Mr Jaipal Reddy told the delegation, according to sources.
Besides Minister for Backward Classes Basavaraju Saraiah, Civil Supplies Minister Duddilla Sridhar Babu, IT and Endowments Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Panchayat Raj Minister Jana Reddy, Sports Minister Komatireddy Rajgopala Reddy, Major Irrigation Minister P Sudharshan Reddy and Minister for Major Irrigation Geetha Reddy, MPs and public representatives from Telangana region were present at the luncheon meeting.
Mr Jaipal Reddy’s statement comes a day after he was targeted by Telangana Political Joint Action Committee convenor Kodandaram for not extending cooperation to Telangana agitation.
“Jaipal Reddy should resign immediately if the Centre is not ready to initiate the process for bifurcation of the state before June 25, the deadline announced by the TJAC for all Telangana Congress leaders,” Prof Kodandaram is reported to have said.
The TPJAC convernor had also regretted that Mr Jaipal Reddy failed to be part of the T Congress’ delegation that called on Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Prof Kodandaram had pointed out that Mr Jaipal Reddy had fought the 2004 and 2009 elections with a promise of securing separate Telangana state to the electorate. “He has to fulfil his promise now,” he stated.
Meanwhile on Thursday, Telangana Congress MLA K Lakshma Reddy said that Mr Jaipal Reddy, who so far extended indirect support to Telangana agitation, will participate directly in the agitation.
He expressed confidence the Telangana state would be formed under Jaipal Reddy’s leadership.(INN)