The summer may be over, but the mercury is rising once again in Telangana with the demand for separate state getting shriller. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the sub-regional party with Telangana statehood as single point agenda, on Wednesday warned that the region will burn" if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh failed to implement his promise of delivering the state."
"I would like to humbly submit to the prime minister that it is you who made the promise on Dec 9, 2009 to carve out separate state. If you do any hera pheri, Telangana will not tolerate. You will see a burning Telangana. The hearts of Telangana people will burn and you alone will be responsible for what happens," said the mercurial TRS chief K Chandrasekar Rao, MP.
Speaking at a function to condole death of Telangana ideologue Prof Jayashankar, the TRS president said that nothing less than statehood was acceptable and people would throw the Congress into the Bay of Bengal if that (forming an autonomous council like as in Darjeeling) happened.
Threatening to intensify the agitation, he said "we are not afraid of anybody. At the most, they can put us in jail, but they can't jail four crore people of the region," he said.
TRS is already in talks with likeminded groups and parties to carry the agitation to the next level. "We were given the impression that a decision will be taken after the elections to three states. Now the election process is over, the government should move the bill (to create T state) in parliament," said TRS leader E Rajender.
It's not TRS alone but leaders from all major parties including the ruling Congress are planning to launch agitation on the issue. A number of Congress legislators including several ministers have set a June 30 deadline for the Centre to take a decision of Telangana failing which they have threatened to take to the streets.
"If statehood for Telangana is not announced, we will resign. There can be no second thoughts," said Dr J Geeta Reddy, Industries Minister. The Congress MLAs, MPs and ministers supporting Telangana will meet on July 1 and decide on the course of action. "Launching hunger strike, stalling parliament and resigning our seats are some of the options before us," said K Rajgopala Reddy, MP from Bhongir.
What has provoked the proponents of Telangana is the state government decision to conduct the recruitment test for police sub-inspectors without deleting Clause 14 F from the Presidential Order of 1975, which keeps Hyderabad city in free zone (out of Telangana) in matter of jobs. They fear that this loophole will allow Andhra people to corner the SI jobs in Hyderabad, much to the detriment of Telangana.
In a related development, Telangana legislators cutting across parties on Wednesday moved a privilege motion against Congress MP from Vijayawada(in coastal Andhra) L Rajagopal for stating that there was no question of deleting Hyderabad from the free zone. The legislators said that the statement of MP invited privilege as Andhra Pradesh Assembly last year passed a resolution urging the central government to delete clause 14F from the Presidential Order of 1975.