Congress leader continues fast for Telangana

Congress leader continues fast for Telangana

Ignoring the appeals of the party leadership, the former Andhra Pradesh minister refused to call off the fast, saying he would do so only after the central leadership makes a clear cut statement in favour of carving out a separate state.

Venkat Reddy, who had resigned as minister last month on the Telangana issue, launched his hunger strike Nov 1 in Nalgonda town. Police shifted him to Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad after his condition started deteriorating.

The Congress leader, however, continued his fast in the hospital. Several senior party leaders, including union minister S. Jaipal Reddy, state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana and D. Srinivas have appealed to him to call off the fast.

Jaipal Reddy Monday spoke to Venkat Reddy over phone and urged him to call off the hunger strike. Satyanarayana, Srinivas and others who called on him at the hospital also appealed to him to end his protest but the former minister was unrelenting on his demand.

It was following an 11-day fast by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao that the centre Dec 9, 2009 had announced that the process for formation of separate Telangana state would be initiated.

Telangana groups allege that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has gone back on its word and was adopting delaying tactics in the name of consultations.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had stated last week that the process of consultations would resume after Eid-ul-Zuha, which was celebrated Monday.