In a statement issued here, Ramadoss said, "The time has come to set right the injustice done to Tamil Nadu when states were reorganized on linguistic basis in 1956. Efforts should be taken to merge eight zones including Tirupati, Thirukalahasthi, Chitoor, Puttur and Sathyavedu and others with Tamil Nadu."

He said that all the political parties in Tamil Nadu have to raise this demand in one voice, and a special session of the state assembly should be convened to pass a resolution to this effect that should be sent to the Centre.

Ramadoss said a large number of Tamils lived in these areas, which were transferred to Andhra Pradesh under the States Reorganisation Act of 1956.

Interestingly, Tirupati and Thirukalahasthi are temple towns. It is through Tirupati that pilgrims travel to Tirumala, considered the abode of Lord Balaji, which is also one of the richest temples in the world.

According to Ramadoss, the imminent formation of Telangana would provide an opportunity to intensify the demand for the merger with Tamil Nadu of around 200 villages that are now in Andhra Pradesh. Ramadoss said that a large number of people in these villagers were Tamilians who were discriminated against when it came to job opportunities.

He claimed that during the re-organization of states in 1956, Tamil Nadu lost a total of 70,000 square meters of territory to neighbouring states; of this, 32,000 square meters were lost to Andhra Pradesh alone.

(Agencies)

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