Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Thursday said he has requested the Centre to take a "quick decision" on the contentious Telangana statehood issue. Replying to questions about his recent trip to New Delhi, he said he had provided "necessary information" to the Centre on the statehood issue while interacting with the top central leadership, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi. "We are trying to help the Centre with whatever information they want. All of us are requesting them to take a quick decision (on Telangana)," Kiran told reporters.
He brushed aside as "media speculation" recent reports that he had suggested the constitution of a 'Territorial Administration' for Telangana. "What I spoke is between our central leadership and the central government. All that is coming out in the media is only speculation," he said. Seeming elated about Congress's "victory" in recent elections to co-operative bodies in the state, he claimed the party was ready to face general elections "anytime".
"Farmers have reposed faith in the Congress government. We will now work with renewed commitment to repay their debt," he said. However, he ruled out announcing a loan waiver scheme for farmers. "It (loan waiver) is not practical. It will not happen," he said. He said that in the current year, farmers in the state were disbursed crop loans to the tune of Rs 42,000 crore. The amount would increase to Rs 60,000 crore next year.
"Waiving such a huge amount is not possible. If anyone is promising to do that, he is only trying to hoodwink the people," he said in an indirect reference to Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu's promise during his ongoing foot march. On the long-pending elections to urban local bodies and panchayat raj institutions, the Chief Minister said they were trying to conduct the polls "as early as possible" by overcoming legal hurdles.
Earlier, he discussed with his ministers the party's strategy for the election of District Co-operative Central Bank (DCCB) chairpersons, which is due on February 18. The Congress hopes to win a majority of the 22 DCCB posts and subsequently the chairmanship of AP Cooperative Central Bank, the apex bank of the co-operatives in the state.