Telangana reverberates in capital
The Telangana issue reverberated in the capital Wednesday, with members from Andhra Pradesh protesting both inside and outside parliament for and against the decision to bifurcate the state.
Andhra lawmakers held protests at many places in the capital while the issue dominated Lok Sabha proceedings, forcing its adjournment for the day.
While members from the Seemandhra region carried placards hailing a united Andhra Pradesh, Telangana members shouted slogans demanding the early creation of a separate state.
The government earlier announced that the bill to create a separate Telangana will be introduced in the current session of parliament.
Opposing the bifurcation, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy met President Pranab Mukherjee and apprised him of his views.
"Members from Seemandhara have met the president and requested that this was the first time that a resolution requesting partition or division of a state has been rejected by the state legislature and the council," Reddy told reporters after meeting Mukherjee.
"We have requested that the state should be kept united. The will of the people of Andhra Pradesh is reflected in the resolution. When a division has to take place it should be for the betterment of the people of the two regions," he said.
Earlier, the Andhra chief minister sat on a silent protest in the national capital.
Union ministers, Congress MPs and state ministers and legislators from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) region joined the chief minister in the protest, asking the central government not to table the bill for formation of Telangana.
Defying the Congress leadership, Reddy and his supporters sat on the day-long protest to demand that the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 should not be tabled in parliament.
Central ministers K.S. Rao, Pallam Raju, K. Chiranjeevi and D. Purandeswari, state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana and a large number of party workers from Seemandhra participated in the protest.
Tension prevailed at the Andhra Bhavan when Telangana supporters, including ministers from the region, tried to stop the chief minister's convoy.
Reddy raised his fist and shouted slogans in support of a united Andhra while boarding a bus even as his cabinet colleagues and other Congress leaders from Telangana tried to stop the convoy.
A scuffle broke out between the two groups, forcing police to intervene.
"We had to convince the pro-Telangana supporters to allow them (anti-Telangana supporters) to protest. Only then were they allowed to advance towards Rajghat," a police official told IANS.
Ministers from Telangana criticised the chief minister for staging the protest in defiance of the party leadership.
D.K. Aruna, one of the ministers, said Kiran Reddy's behaviour was unbecoming of a chief minister.
The legislators and their supporters also protested outside the Andhra Pradesh Bhavan in central Delhi and then marched towards Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi's memorial on the banks of the Yamuna river.
Y.S.R. Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy also met the president and asked for the decision to create Telangana to be rescinded.
(Posted on 05-02-2014)
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