Telangana splits Andhra

  • Ashok Das and Srinand Jha, Hindustan Times, Hyderabad / New Delhi
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  • Updated: Dec 11, 2009 10:44 IST

The Centre’s decision on Wednesday to initiate the process for the formation of a separate Telangana state ran into rough weather almost as soon as it was announced, with the rest of Andhra Pradesh protesting violently.

With all major parties vertically split, the Congress and the Union government clarified that a “broad consensus” was required before the Centre could move ahead to carve out nine of Andhra’s 23 districts into a separate state.

Following the Centre’s decision, K. Chandrashekhar Rao, leader of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which is spearheading the agitation for a separate state, withdrew his fast unto death on Wednesday night.

The Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), the three main parties in the state, were thrown into a tailspin as 93 MLAs, 34 MLCs and five MPs tendered their resignations — or have threatened to do so — in protest.

Fifty-three MLAs of the Congress, 30 of the TDP and 15 of the PRP resigned. All  parties have given call for a coastal Andhra bandh on Friday,, terming the Centre’s decision “unilateral and unwarranted”.

In  damage  control  mode,  Congress  president  Sonia Gandhi assured party leaders  from  the  coastal and Rayalaseema regions that all views would be considered before a final decision.

“We  want  a  consensus  and  it has to form at the state level. It has not happened  in  the  last  20 years and if a consensus is formed now, we will move forward,” said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Sanghvi.

“Last  night’s announcement was a re-statement” of the government’s earlier decision,  Union  Home  Minister  P.  Chidambaram  told Rajya Sabha. He had spoken to Rao and invited him to Delhi to discuss the matter.

TDP  chief  N. Chandrababu Naidu made yet another turnaround — this time to oppose  Telangana  —  after the party’s leader in Rajya Sabha, M.V. Mysoora Reddy, resigned. Naidu had declared support for a separate state during the May elections, which he fought in alliance with the TRS. He said he did not promise  support  in the assembly for a resolution demanding Telengana. “We said we will discuss the resolution if it is moved in assembly,” he said.

Another pro-Telangana party, Chiranjeevi’s PRP, suffered a mass exodus with 15  of  its  18  MLAs  resigning. “First I am an MLA. I have to respect the sentiments  of  the  people;  the  party  comes thereafter,” said party MLA Ramesh Babu.

Protests in state Representatives  of  municipalities  too joined the action with some 346 of them  resigning  in  protest. 

Students  boycotted  classes  and  took  out processions.  Seven  hundred  colleges  in  north coastal Andhra shut down.

Andhra  University authorities have suspended all examinations till further notice.

There  was  sporadic  violence  with  agitators  setting  fire  to buses in Vijayawada  and  Anantapur  and  burning effigies of Rao and Chief Minister Rosaiah.  Road blocks  were set up at several places.

The  demand  for  carving out separate Uttaranadhra and greater Rayalaseema states  also revived.

 Legislators of the regions plan to submit a memoranda in this regard to the Centre.


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