With Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhara Rao on a fast-unto-death demanding a separate Telangana state, the Andhra Pradesh government Sunday withdrew criminal cases filed against him, including those of rioting.
Chief Minister K. Rosaiah told a news conference that the government was withdrawing all the cases booked after Rao's arrest Nov 29 and appealed to him to call off the fast, which entered the eighth day Sunday.
KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known, was arrested near Karimnagar town when he was heading to Siddipet town in Medak district to launch a fast unto death. He was taken to Khammam town, where a court sent him to jail for 14 days. Police charged KCR with rioting, criminal conspiracy, inciting people to violence and criminal intimidation.
KCR is continuing the fast at Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad. Rosaiah also announced that the government would move a resolution on free zone issue in the state assembly during the winter session beginning Monday.
"In response to the demand by government employees from Telangana, we have decided to table a resolution in the assembly," he said. Through this resolution, the assembly will urge the central government to bring a constitutional amendment to circumvent a recent order of the Supreme Court declaring Hyderabad a free zone in matters of recruitment in the police department.
The court order meant that candidates from outside Telangana can also be recruited in police in Hyderabad. The employees from the region feel that this would violate various constitutional safeguards already provided to the people of the region in matters of recruitment. The government employees of Telangana, which comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad, are currently on a pen down strike on the issue.
Rosaiah had earlier said the government has moved a petition in the Supreme Court seeking review of its order.
Reacting to the announcement, KCR's son and TRS legislator K. Tarakarama Rao termed it a conspiracy to weaken the Telangana movement by trying to wean away the employees. "We are warning Congress government against this divide and rule policy. Employees, students, teachers, doctors and lawyers are united in this movement to achieve separate state," said Tarakarama Rao.
The TRS leader reiterated the demand that the government table a resolution in the assembly for carving out a separate Telangana state. "When Rosaiah is ready to move a resolution on constitutional amendment which is not in his hands why can't he move a resolution on separate state," Rao said. He was referring to Rosaiah's remark that formation of a separate state was not in the hands of the state government and that it was for the central government to take a decision.