HYDERABAD: Debunking the argument that small states are not viable, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh has said his state has achieved tremendous development in various sectors ever since it was formed in 2000.
Speaking at the valedictory of Telangana Poru Yatra on the Nizam College Grounds here on Saturday, Singh said, "Chhattisgarh recorded 11.47 percent GDP growth rate and 6.4 per cent agricultural growth much higher than the average national growth rate. Moreover, about 22 percent of the country's steel production comes from the state. It is producing 10,000 MW of power and sanctioned 6.80 lakh agricultural pump sets to farmers. It is supplying up to 6,000 units of power to farmers free of cost and collecting Rs 1 per unit on excess consumption."
He invited UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and prime minister Manmohan Singh, who are against smaller states, to send a team to see the development in Chhattisgarh.
Singh said the people of Chhattisgarh drew inspiration from the Telangana movement and launched agitation for statehood. "Telangana cause is genuine and the demand for statehood should be accepted by the Congress which is ruling at the Centre. If it does not form Telangana state before 2014, then the BJP will announce it after coming to power," he said.
BJP senior leader M Venkaiah Naidu appealed to the Congress and TDP to declare a clear-cut stand on Telangana and reiterated BJP's support if a bill on Telangana was introduced in Parliament.
BJP state president G Kishan Reddy demanded introduction of Telangana bill in the coming budget session of Parliament.
Party leaders B.Dattatreya, K.Laxman, N.Indrasena Reddy, Telangana JAC convener M Kodandaram, Telangana Employees JAC leaders K Swamy Goud, Srinivas Goud and Vital, and others were present.