Telangana agitation for separate state on as TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao fasts

Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 19:54
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Stir for Telangana state gathers momentum; Congress compelled to take a stand

Update: Telangana state formation process to begin; Center says yes to Telangana!

The demand for a separate Telangana state carved out of Andhra Pradesh is gathering momentum as pro-Telangana protestors and the police continued to clash at Osmania University in Hyderabad, and the hunger-strike by K Chandrashekhar Rao, president of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, entering the 10th day.

Meanwhile, K Chandrasekhar Rao’s health deteriorates.

With the students at Osmania University taking the lead in the demonstrations demanding a separate Telangana state and the student-police encounters getting violent, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah has called an all-party meet to discuss the issue.

Geeta Reddy, a leader of the Congress, said the state unit of the party has left it to the Congress high command to take a decision.

A Congress party functionary said in New Delhi that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has decided to call an all-party meeting on the pro-Telangana agitation.

CNN-IBN reported that Sonia Gandhi, Congress president, has already discussed the Telangana agitation with Law Minister Veerappa Moily and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi is adamant that it will go ahead with the agitation till the Congress-led Unite Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre promises the Telangana state.

Harish Rao, leader of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, told reporters that party president K Chandrashekhar Rao will not call off his hunger-strike without getting a “clear-cut decision” from the Congress party or the Central Government.

At the all-party meeting convened by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah, all the parties will agree to pass a resolution in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly favouring formation of a separate Telangana state, Harish Rao said.

The strong stand taken by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi has forced Congress MPs from the Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh to take a hard stand.

Madhu Yaskhi Goud, Congress MP from Nizamabad, said that, for the first time, students, teachers, employees and other people have taken up the cause for a Telangana state.

At the same time, the Congress is strongly opposed to making Chandrashekhar Rao the “hero” of the Telangana cause.

Political observers say that the Central Government will now be compelled to take a solid decision on the demand for a Telangana state as it can no longer afford to vacillate on the issue.

The pro-Telangana activists demand 10 districts in the erstwhile Hyderabad (Nizam’s state) which are now in Andhra Pradesh, and also allege that “the people of Andhra Pradesh” are discriminating against the people living in the Telangana region.

It may be noted that the Telangana region is a hotbed of Naxals, with the region sharing a border with the Chhattisgarh state.

Also, the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are in the Telangana region. Even while the people of the Andhra region are not prepared to part with Hyderabad as the capital of Andhra Pradesh, leaders of the pro-Telangana movement demand that the capital of Andhra Pradesh be moved to Vishakhapatnam.

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