Series of protest rallies, road blockade planned
Telangana agitation is all set to move into an aggressive mode this month with statehood protagonists gearing up for a series of protest rallies and programmes to mount pressure on the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to carve out a separate state.
The Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC), a conglomeration of several pro-Telangana political and social groups, has chalked out agitation programmes in the coming days to protest against the delaying tactics by the Centre after holding out a promise of an early solution to the imbroglio.
First, a “road blockade” will be organised on the busy Hyderabad-Bangalore National Highway for 24 hours on February 24.
As a prelude to the agitation programme and to mobilise public support to revive the movement, the committee leaders led by TJAC chairman M Kodandaram, set out on a two-day “bus yatra” covering the region. The road show would see public meetings being held all along the route including Shamshabad (where the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport is located), Shadnagar, Thimmapur, Wanaparthi and Gadwal before culminating in a public rally at Alampur in neighbouring Mahabubnagar district on Wednesday.
During the proposed “road blockade,” thousands of pro-Telangana activists are expected to hold protest meetings at various points along the highway, cook food and organise cultural programmes on the road. This would signal the re-launch of statehood movement with a more vigour.
Kodandaram said: “The agitation will essentially target the Congress and will not stop till the UPA government introduces a Bill in Parliament for bifurcation of the state.”
He said that the purpose of the bus yatra was to sensitize people about the “road blockade” which he termed as the main event. “We want to mobilise masses in a big way, and we are calling upon the people to take part in the event,” he said.
The TJAC has planned a similar road blockade on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada Highway in March.
Another TJAC leader Katti Venkataswamy said road blockade programmes were being organised as a symbolic protest to convey the sentiment prevailing among the people of Telangana that they want to be disconnected with the other two regions, coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema.
Besides the blockade on the Highways, the TJAC has also chalked out protest programmes between February 16 and 21 covering all the assembly segments in the region which are represented by the Congress.
Pro-Telangana activists participating in this programme will lay siege to residences and offices of Congress leaders in the region.