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No PM assurance in hand TRS decides to intensify Telangana agitation

Tuesday October 04, 2011 07:09:22 AM, IANS

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New Delhi/Hyderabad: After failing to get any assurance from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over a separate Telangana state, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao Monday rejected his appeal to call off the strike and decided to intensify the agitation.

KCR, as Rao is popularly known, told reporters that he may also go on a "fast unto death" to intensify the movement for a separate state.

"The strike will not be called off under any circumstances," he told reporters after meeting the prime minister in New Delhi. "The strike would continue till there is a roadmap for separate Telangana," he added.

The public agitation called by Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) to press for a Telangana state in Andhra Pradesh entered its 21st day Monday.

"We are not satisfied. The prime minister did not give any assurance. We will continue to fight," said the MP, who was leading a delegation of JAC leaders.

The delegation urged the prime minister to direct the state government to pay salaries to striking employees on humanitarian grounds. It also complained that the government was deliberately resorting to power blackouts for farmers in Telangana and using repressive methods against the leaders of Telangana movement.

The TRS chief, who also met Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Communist Party of India general secretary A. B. Bardhan, accused Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy of misleading the people on the issue.

The prime minister's meeting with the TRS chief comes amidst talk in political circles that the Congress is diluting its position on the half-century old dispute and may move towards a solution without losing political face.

Earlier, the prime minister met a delegation of Congress MPs and legislators from the Andhra Pradesh region but did not give any assurance to them.

During the 30-minute meeting, the Congress delegation told the prime minister that the central government should announce a time-frame for arriving at a decision on the issue, an MP, who was in the delegation, told IANS.

Manmohan Singh told the Congress MPs that his government will make all efforts to find a solution to the long-standing demand.

He said that he would talk to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and place their demands before the Congress core committee.

The delegation is also learnt to have complained against Andhra Pradesh chief minister's hostile stand to the Telangana demand.

Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in charge of Congress affairs in Andhra Pradesh, had Friday submitted a detailed report on the volatile situation in the state to Sonia Gandhi.

The report had recommended further consultations on the Telangana issue. That was endorsed by the Congress core group, which met Friday.

The TRS chief, who has been camping in Delhi, Sunday held a sit-in at Rajghat here in support of his party's demand for the creation of a new Telangana state.

He also questioned the government's stance to hold "further consultations" on the issue

In Andhra Pradesh, pro-Telangana activists forcibly stopped vehicles moving from coastal Andhra towards Hyderabad and hurled stones at private buses, damaging at least 20 of them in Nalgonda district, police said.

Some activists were injured when police hit them with batons at Nakrekal while one police official sustained critical injuries in stone pelting by the mobs. There were no reports of injuries to the passengers. Demanding separate statehood to Telangana, activists also damaged a police vehicle.

Meanwhile, the chief minister warned that the leaders of the Telangana movement would be responsible for any crop damage due to electricity shortage, citing the ongoing general strike for a separate Telangana.

The chief minister singled out the TRS chief and Telangana JAC convener M. Kodandaram for his attack.

"If crops are damaged, Kodandaram and KCR will be responsible," he said, urging the people of Telangana to strongly oppose them.

The indefinite strike in coal mines of state-owned Singareni Collieries as part of the general strike in Telangana has affected coal production and hit electricity generation at thermal power stations.

Authorities have imposed power cuts on domestic, agriculture and industrial sectors. A one-hour blackout has been imposed on farmers, who earlier got seven hours of free electricity every day.






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