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Oct 05, 2013 at 09:15pm IST

Jagan Reddy begins fast for united Andhra, blames Sonia for 'crisis'

Hyderabad: YSR Congress Party chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Saturday launched an indefinite hunger strike against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, holding Congress President Sonia Gandhi responsible for the "crisis" in the state and accusing her of exploiting sentiments of people to pave way for his son Rahul Gandhi to become prime minister.

Jagan also announced his party would challenge the Union Cabinet's decision to grant Telangana in Supreme Court.

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"Sonia Gandhi is responsible for the crisis in the state and she has been playing with the sentiments of people with the singular motive of seeing to it that her son Rahul Gandhi is made prime minister," Jagan alleged.

Jagan Reddy begins fast for united Andhra, blames Sonia for 'crisis'

Seemandhra protests: Jagan ups the ante with hunger strike

Jagan, who began an indefinite fast at his Lotus Pond residence here at 11:30 am, appealed to Sonia to reconsider the decision, saying creation of new state would badly affect the future generations of one region.

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"We are opposing the unilateral manner in which the Centre is functioning. How can it go ahead with bifurcation process without a resolution in the state Assembly," he questioned.

Jagan, who is out on bail in a corruption case said, "We have never heard of an instance of state bifurcation without a resolution in the Assembly. The division is arbitrary in nature and does not address all issues that are bound to crop up after the bifurcation".

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Appealing to Centre to rollback its decision to carve out Telangana, Jagan said, "the motive of the division could be political, but Delhi cannot play with the sentiments of the people of one region".

The YSR Congress chief, who had triggered speculation of possible political alignments after he recently praised BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as an "administrator", asked the saffron party, which has always been in favour of the separate state, to support the cause of united Andhra Pradesh.

"Why the Centre couldn't change its decision when there is so much happening in the state? (and) when it could revoke the ordinance (aimed at protecting convicted lawmakers) on the intervention of Rahul Gandhi," Jagan said.

This is the second time that Jagan is undertaking an indefinite fast on the issue.

He went on an indefinite hunger-strike in the Chanchalguda jail, where he was lodged as an undertrial, last month but it was broken on the fifth day after he was administered intravenous fluids by doctors at NIMS.

Meanwhile, referring to proposed indefinite fast by TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu in New Delhi on October 7, Jagan said, "If he is sincere, he should be categorical about his support for a united state and send a letter afresh to that effect.

Scores of YSRC activists gathered at Lotus Pond to greet Jagan as he began the stir after paying homage at the bust of his late father and then chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.