Centre initiates process for Telangana state

TRS chief ends fast; questions raised over status of Hyderabad

Centre initiates process for Telangana state

WINNING CAUSE? TRS president K Chandrasekhara Rao, who was on a fast unto death for 11 days, convalescing at NIMS hospital in Hyderabad, hours before calling off his protest on Wednesday night. PTI

“The process of creating a separate Telangana state will be initiated and an appropriate resolution moved in the (Andhra Pradesh) state assembly,” Union Home Minister P Chidambaram announced here late on Wednesday night.

The resolution in the state assembly in favour of the creation of the Telangana state could be moved as early as Thursday.

Within an hour of Chidambaram’s announcement, Rao, also the founder president of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, ended his fast by accepting a glass of juice. Rao has been under constant medical observation for the last few days at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad.

The Home Minister said the Centre was “concerned about KCR’s (as Rao is popularly known) health” and urged him to withdraw his fast. He also appealed to the agitating students to call off their agitation, assuring that all cases registered against the pro-Telangana agitators over the last few days would be withdrawn. 

The late night announcement by Chidambaram followed day-long consultations with the ruling Congress on ways to defuse the crisis situation in Andhra Pradesh over the intensified pro-Telangana agitation. State Chief Minister K Rosaiah was summoned here for these consultations.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were directly involved in the intra-party consultations. The Prime Minister met Rosaiah and other leaders during the day in the backdrop of Rao’s refusal to end his indefinite fast to press for Telangana.

A Congress core committee held a meeting with the Andhra chief minister. The party president, the Prime Minister, Chidambaram, defence minister A K Antony and party in-charge of Andhra affairs and Union law minister Veerappa Moily were present in the meeting. Rosaiah had also a separate meeting with Sonia.

Though there was no clarity until late in the evening on the course to be adopted to deal with the crisis situation, there were already clear indications emerging from the party that the leadership might ask the chief minister to get a resolution adopted in the state assembly favouring the creation of Telangana state. In which case, the Centre would impress upon the pro-Telangana agitators that the resolution would be considered by it expeditiously.

The Congress and the Union government are also toying with another proposal on making the Hyderabad city a Union Territory (UT). A suggestion in this regard was made in writing to the Congress chief by state Backward Classes Welfare minister M Mukesh Goud and fourteen MPs from the state — all hitherto counted amongst the opponents of creating Telangana state. But the party was aware that a UT status for Hyderabad would not go well with the agitators as Rao had made it clear that a new state of Telangana should be created with Hyderabad as its capital.

The TRS, which welcomed Chidambaram’s announcement, however, adopted a cautious stand. Asserting that the Congress had gone back on its promises on the creation of a separate state of Telangana, the TRS demanded a clear time-bound roadmap for the carving out the new state. Rao’s legislator son, K T Rama Rao said his party needed a firm commitment from the Centre about its plans to follow up on the state assembly’s resolution to actually form the new state. He said there were still conspiracies in the state Congress.

While the status of Hyderabad City will be debated, state Congress chief D Srinivas, who hails from the Telangana region, was clear that the city will  be part of Telangana state if and when it was formed.

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