In an attempt to step up the movement for separate statehood for Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region, rebel leaders of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) on Thursday launched a new outfit called the Telangana Vimochana Samithi (TVS).
At the launch function here, legislative council member Dileep Kumar said the new outfit would build a mass movement from the grass root level to achieve its goal.
He added that the TVS would not keep itself away from politics and would support all other groups working for the cause of Telangana.
Over 1,000 people, including intellectuals, academicians, political activists as well as leaders and workers of various Telangana outfits attended the event.
Dileep Kumar and former TRS general secretary V Prakash, who quit TRS following differences with party founder and president K Chandrasekhara Rao, launched TVS as they felt that under Rao the party was focussing only on electoral politics.
The development came after the TRS received a severe drubbing in the recent elections to state assembly and Lok Sabha. The party could get only 10 assembly and two Lok Sabha seats although it contested 45 assembly and nine Lok Sabha seats in the region in alliance with the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and two Left parties.
The new outfit has been launched at a time when dissidents within the TRS are mounting pressure on Rao to own moral responsibility for the poll debacle and quit.
Former MP Ravindra Naik and former state minister A Chandrasekhar are leading a dissident group within the TRS. Naik was recently manhandled by Rao's loyalists when he tried to enter Telangana Bhavan, the headquarters of TRS in Hyderabad.
Rao had quit the TDP in 2000 to launch TRS to revive the three-decade old movement for separate statehood to the Telangana region, comprising 10 districts including Hyderabad.