96-year-old Telangana activist says 'Satyagraha' will continue

96-year-old Telangana activist says 'Satyagraha' will continue

"A meeting of the Telangana freedom fighters will be held in Hyderabad on November 10 to decide the future course of action," he told reporters here at Jantar Mantar where his week-long Satyagraha draws to a close.

Bapuji, a 1969 pro-Telangana agitation leader accompanied by other freedom fighters and prominent leaders from the Telangana region, sat on a week-long satyagraha from November 1 to demand that the central government "honour its commitment" towards Telangana.

Claiming that this was "not the end", he stated that a core committee will soon be formed to chalk out a strategy to carry forward his 'Save democracy Satyagraha' at various levels.

"We will launch satyagraha in Parliament in its ensuing winter session. Why should the government be allowed to function if they don't agree with the decision of the majority?" he said.

Asked whether he would ask Rahul Gandhi to intervene, Bapuji said, "I will be glad if Rahul plays an important role in honouring commitments made by the central government. But we as freedom fighters will not beg anybody."

On Home Minister P Chidambaram's statement made last month that a solution for Telangana issue will be given after Eid, he said, "People don't believe the government why should I? Congress is evasive. One minister from the government says after Eid, another says by January the issue will be resolved, whom should we believe?"

Comparing their agitation with Hazare's movement, he said, "Anna's movement was to curb corruption, ours is to curb 'avniti'. Our Satyagraha is against bribery as well as misconduct by not honouring commitments made."

Andhra Pradesh  Minister for Handloom and Textiles, P Shankar Rao who was here to lend support to Bapuji likened the struggle for Telangana to struggle for independence.

"Just like India got independence in 1947 and freedom was its birthright, similarly Telangana is our birthright. "

He said that he will be meeting Rahul Gandhi in Allahabad on November 14 where he will raise the issue of separate statehood for Telangana with him.