Telangana back to square one; KCR resigns డిసెంబర్ 23, 2009Posted by Telangana Utsav in agitation, Andhra, compromise, Congress, drama, fast, Identity, Mulki, politics, PRP, Rayalaseema, Settler, Sonia, suicide, TDP, Telangana, TRS, violence.
Centre softens Telangana stand; KCR resigns
IANS: 23 Dec 2009 12:16:33 AM IST
HYDERABAD: Bowing to the pressure from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, the central government Wednesday softened its stance on the formation of a separate Telangana state. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) reacted strongly, its chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao resigned as MP while five party legislators also quit. The TRS has also called for a 48-hour shutdown.
After coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions witnessed protests against the proposed bifurcation of the state for nearly a fortnight, the government said there was need to hold wide-ranging consultations with all political parties on the issue.
The move came after Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s Dec 9 announcement about the government’s acceptance of the demand for a separate Telangana led to a political tempest with mass resignations by legislators from all parties in the two regions. In his statement Wednesday, Chidambaram said the situation had changed in the state and political parties were divided on the issue.
“A statement was made on behalf of the central government on December 9. However, after the statement, the situation in Andhra has altered. A large number of political parties are divided on the political issue. There is a need to hold wide-ranging consultations with all political parties in the state,” he said.
Chidambaram said the government would take steps to involve all concerned in the process of talks.
“The central government appeals to all people of Andhra Pradesh and to all political parties and students to withdraw their agitation and maintain peace, harmony and brotherhood,” he said, adding that the state government should be allowed to focus on governance.
While the parties in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema hailed the statement and leaders who were on hunger strike ended their protests, it evoked strong reactions from all parties and groups in Telangana.
TRS sources said KCR, as Rao is popularly known, faxed his resignation to protest the government move to put the Telangana issue on the backburner.
KCR sent the resignation immediately after announcing that all elected representatives of Telangana, irrespective of their party affiliations, would quit.
Tension prevailed in the region comprising Hyderabad and nine other districts as protests broke out at several places. Students came out on streets, protesting the latest statement.
KCR, whose 11-day hunger strike had forced the government to issue the Dec 9 statement, alleged that the government had again betrayed the people of Telangana.
“People of Telangana have been once again betrayed. The statement has no clarity and no time frame,” he said.
“How long will it take for the formation of Telangana state. Another 50 years? How many more people have to die?” he asked.
The TRS, which had announced plans to hold a victory rally in Warangal Thursday, cancelled it and called for a 48-hour shutdown in Telangana instead.
KCR also announced that all elected representatives of the region from members of village level bodies to MPs would quit enmasse.
The mass resignations were announced even as the state cabinet welcomed the statement and appealed to all legislators to take back their resignations.
Over 140 legislators from Andhra and Rayalaseema cutting across party lines had submitted their resignations to the speaker after the Dec 9 statement.
KCR said the Joint Action Committee of all parties and groups fighting for Telangana state would be formed Thursday to decide the future course of action.
One legislator of main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) announced that he would submit his resignation while some others said they would take a decision Thursday.
Minutes before KCR’s announcement, Congress MPs and state ministers from Telangana welcomed the statement, saying the government remained committed to its stand of formation of Telangana.
Chief Minister K. Rosaiah hoped the statement would satisfy people of all regions and would help restore public life and administration, which had been paralysed for a fortnight.
Earlier in the evening, KCR had appealed to the central government to immediately begin the constitutional process for forming the new state. He also said political consensus could never be achieved on the issue.