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Telangana-torchbearer Konda Lakshman passes away సెప్టెంబర్ 23, 2012

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in 1969, agitation, Culture, Identity, Mulki, Nizam, Personalities, politics, regionalism, struggle, Telangana.
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Telangana-torchbearer Konda Lakshman passes away
TNN Sep 22, 2012

HYDERABAD: Freedom fighter and veteran of Telangana movement Konda Lakshman, popularly known as ‘Bapuji’, passed away on Friday morning at his residence at the age of 97. Bapuji was hale and hearty till the other day and actively participated in the installation ceremony of the famous Khairatabad Ganesha idol on Wednesday. He died when arrangements were afoot for his next birthday on September 27.

Konda Lakshman was the first minister to quit the Kasu Brahmananda Reddy cabinet for the Telangana cause. Till then the Telangana movement was being run by the students of Osmania University and some young intellectuals of Hyderabad. Alleging that the Gentleman’s Agreement of 1956 was violated, Bapuji, who was information and labour minister, had quit the cabinet to join the nascent Telangana Praja Samithi (TPS).

It was his entry that transformed the hitherto student and youth movement into a political struggle for a separate state. Earlier, ‘Bapuji’ brought about a split in the AP Congress by forming the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee with the support of dozens of MLAs from the region. He was Deputy Speaker for some time. Bapuji was born in Wankidi village in Adilabad district in 1915 into a weaver’s family, and was an arch rival of another T-veteran and TPS president Marri Channa Reddy. Then CM Brahmananda Reddy used to say that he was confident that the Telangana movement would not move forward as long as Channa Reddy and Bapuji were at the helm of affairs. Their presence polarised the movement ideologically into Reddys and non-Reddys.

An inveterate fighter, the grand old man of T never gave up his separate statehood demand even for a day. At 96, he sat for an indefinite fast in Delhi’s Parliament Street demanding Telangana bill in Parliament last November. He organised round table meetings, padayatras, sadbhavana yatras and all-party meetings for the cause of T. Without any hesitation, he made himself available to every forum, party and individual fighting for Telangana state.

Another issue he constantly fought for was the plight of the weavers from Telangana. He was instrumental in mobilising weavers across the country for their rehabilitation in the face of mills’ onslaught.

Bapuji’s political career began with his participation in the Quit India movement in 1942. It took a Telangana turn in 1952 through the Mulki agitation. He transformed himself into a T-leader in 1969 by becoming the first minister to resign from the cabinet. Bapuji first contested unsuccessfully from Munugodu Assembly constituency in 1962. However, later he represented Bhongir Assembly constituency for two terms (1967-78).

Source: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-09-22/hyderabad/34021462_1_telangana-bill-separate-statehood-demand-telangana-state

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