Telangana focus moves to Delhi
Hyderabad: As the indefinite strike in Telangana region continued for the eighteenth day yesterday and normal life remained paralysed in Hyderabad, the focus of the struggle for a separate Telangana state moved to New Delhi.
All eyes were on the Congress president Sonia Gandhi as the AICC general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh affairs Ghulam Nabi Azad yesterday submitted his report to her. Azad, who prepared the report after eliciting the views of the Congress leaders from all the three regions; Telangana, Andhra and Rayal Seema over the last three months, said efforts were being made to find a solution to the Telangana issue.
Later, the Congress Core Committee met in New Delhi to consider Azad's report. Though Azad was tight lipped, the contents have already become the subject of speculation in Andhra media. Local TV channels went to town with claims Azad had opposed the formation of a Telangana state and advised that the centre should offer a special package for the development of a Telangana region.
Coinciding with the submission of Azad's report, a delegation of Telangana leaders led by Telangana Rasthra Samiti president K. Chandrashekhar Rao left for New Delhi yesterday. Alleging that the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh was trying to turn the peaceful Telangana movement into a violent agitation, Rao said the Telangana leaders would draw the attention of the Prime Minister and other leaders to the situation in the area,
"The police attacks on the TRS legislators T. Harish Rao and K.T. Rama Rao and the employees' union leader Swami Goud is an example of how the government was trying to provoke Telangana people," he said.
The Telangana delegation will comprise of the TJAC convenor Prof Kodanda Ram, the leaders of TRS, BJP and the CPIML New Democracy and also the representatives of the JACs of government employees, lawyers, doctors and others. The delegation will also meet the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, and thank her for her consistent support in Parliament. "We will urge the Prime Minister to take an early decision on [the] Telangana demand," KCR said before leaving for Delhi.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram also broke his silence yesterday and appealed to people to end the strike. He said he could convene an all-party meeting on the Telangana issue only after four political parties Congress, Telugu Desam, YSR Congress and MIM clarified their respective stands.
Shops and businesses remained closed in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad yesterday in response to the Bandh called by the TJAC.
Educational institutions closed as teachers and students participated in the strike. RTC buses continued to stay off the roads, as auto rickshaws in Hyderabad also observed the Bandh. Local train services were also suspended.