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I am ready to withdraw all comments

Hyderabad: Senior Congress leader from Andhra Pradesh, G Venkataswamy, who created a flutter by demanding Sonia Gandhi`s resignation as party president, on Wednesday said he is ready to withdraw all his comments.

"I had to make those comments because I was worried that party may suffer in Telangana region. I am ready to withdraw all comments…I request her (Gandhi) separate Telangana," the octogenarian leader said, appearing to be backtracking on the issue.

If I am expelled, party workers in Telangana would form a new outfit called Telangana Congress, he claimed.

Meanwhile, Venkataswamy`s son and Congress MP G Vivek said he did not agree with the comments of his father and that he has faith in the leadership of Sonia Gandhi.

Slamming Venkataswamy for his attack on Gandhi, Youth Congress activists met Andhra Pradesh Congress president D Srinivas at his residence here late last night and demanded that disciplinary action be taken against him immediately.

In a no-holds-barred-attack on Gandhi, Venkataswamy, a Dalit leader from Telangana region, yesterday alleged that the party is fast losing its base all over the country and that corruption and inflation have risen under Sonia?s leadership.

He demanded that she step down from the post of party president and make way for an lndian who has risen from the grass roots.

Taking exception to Congress high command`s move of inviting Praja Rajyam chief Chiranjeevi for the two parties to work together, Venkataswamy said the decision has lowered the stature of Congress. Chiranjeevi supports united Andhra Pradesh demand.

Congress leaders in the state, led by Srinivas, have condemned Venkataswamy`s comments against the party president in one voice.

"These comments are most unfortunate. I condemn all the utterances made by Venkataswamy. It seems he was not in consciousness. He was talking about not being made the President (of India) and denied appointment (by Gandhi). But these are all his personal issues," Srinivas said.

State minister and prominent Dalit leader in Congress D Rajanarasimha said Venkataswamy`s comments are aimed at positioning himself or his son for the post of Chief Minister if separate Telangana is realised.

Several state ministers, legislators and other party also strongly condemned Venkataswamy`s remarks against Gandhi.

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