New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday asked Telangana leaders to maintain "restraint, brotherhood and cordial relations" with people of Andhra and Rayalseema regions as the process started for creation of a separate state. A delegation comprising Union Ministers S Jaipal Reddy, Balram Naik, MPs Ponnam Prabhakar, S Rajaiah, P Govardhana Reddy and a large contingent of state ministers from the region called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Gandhi, and NCP chief Sharad Pawar to thank them for the Telangana decision. Rahul Gandhi was also at 10 Janpath, when the Telangana leaders visited there.
During the 20 minute-long meeting with Gandhi, the Telangana leaders also had a photo opportunity with the Congress President. "You have to maintain restraint because some people may be aggrieved over the decision. Maintain brotherhood with people of other regions with whom you have lived for so long. Maintain a cordial relationship and give support to people from the other regions, who have settled in the Telangana region," Gandhi is learnt to have told the delegation.
Telangana Congress MP Rajaiah said that Gandhi was keen that people from non-Telangana regions living in Hyderabad and other districts of the Telangana region are given support and have a sense of belonging. "We thanked her for the decision on Telangana saying it would be a red-letter day and assured her that we will co-operate with our brothers from other two regions. The fact is that they have settled not only in Hyderabad but in all other nine districts of Telangana and are holding key posts there.
"They never faced a problem and will not do so in future. They are living with us for more than 150 years and there was never a problem in maintaining harmony," he said.
Another MP Ponnam Prabhakar said that Telangana leaders have also decided to form a Sadhbhavana Group and meet the legislators and MPs from other two regions seeking their cooperation in formation of the new state for which Congress Working Committee passed a resolution on Tuesday.