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Pressure mounts on Sonia over Telangana issue

December 06, 2009 20:57 IST

With the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Praja Rajyam Party clamouring to join hands with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti over the demand for a separate state, pressure is mounting on Congress president Sonia Gandhi to initiate steps to deal with the issue immediately.
The growing unrest within the party, especially among the leaders of Telangana region,  came to the fore on Sunday with Congress Working Committee member G Venkat Swamy openly supporting the demand for Telangana.
The veteran Congress leader has sent a letter to Gandhi, urging her to intervene and take measures for the formation of the state. "All the people of Telangana want their separate state. That is why I requested Sonia Amma to take steps for the formation of the state," he said.
On the issue of the Andhra Pradesh assembly not passing a resolution seeking the division of the state, Venkat Swamy wondered whether such a resolution was possible without Sonia Gandhi's direction to the state government.
Underlining the difference between the 1969 movement and the present situation, Venkat Swamy said that at the time, 400 youths had been killed in police firing. "But this time,  people are committing suicides for the sake of Telangana. Every home in the region is ready to make a sacrifice and lay down lives," he said.
Congress Member of Parliament from Nizamabad Madhu Goud Yashki said that he will make an all-out effort to see that a bill is moved in Parliament for a separate Telangana state.

Congress MPs from Telangana region have also made their representations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, stressing the need for accepting the demand for Telangana.
State Congress president D Srinivas is expected to meet Gandhi in New Delhi and apprise her of the situation in the state.
TRS leaders have started mounting pressure on the ruling Congress party and other parties to pass a unanimous resolution in the assembly seeking the formation of a separate state. The TRS, which has ten members in the state assembly, is likely to stall the proceedings of the House during the winter session starting from Monday.
The government employees of Telangana region have become actively involved in the movement. Under the banner of a Joint Action Committee, they have started a pen-down strike in support of a separate state.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which had supported the two strikes called by the TRS during the last one week, has decided to lay a siege to the offices of the collectors in all ten districts of Telangana. On Tuesday, the party will organise a dharna in front of the tehsildar's offices in the region.

Chiranjeevi's PRP, which has 17 legislators in the assembly, is supporting the TRS.
The Telugu Desam Party has announced that it will support any resolution on Telangana moved by the government, but it will not support the agitation as it has taken a violent turn.
Meanwhile, demands for a separate Andhra state in coastal region and a separate Rayala Seema state in the southern region have also emerged.
Several politicians have declared that in case Telangana is carved out of Andhra, Rayala Seema, comprising four southern districts, should also become a separate state leaving Andhra region with the remaining nine districts.
Former MP Harirama Jogaiah and Dalit activist Katti Padma Rao have quit the PRP, announcing their plans to start an agitation for the formation of another Andhra state.

"I am not against the Telangana movement because a separate Telangana will also be beneficial to the people of Andhra," said Jogaiah, who hails from West Godavari district.
TG Venkatesh, Congress Member of Legislative Assembly from Kurnool, demanded that in case Telangana of created, the central government should announce a compensation package of Rs 1 lakh crore for Rayala Seema region. He stressed on the need for a peaceful separation of ways for the different regions.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad