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AP keenly awaits Centre's Telangana statement

Last updated on: December 23, 2009 18:43 IST
Tensions have risen in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana region ahead of Central government's fresh statement clarifying its position on the issue of separate Telangana state on Wednesday evening.

But with reports from New Delhi indicating that the Central government was diluting its statement of December 9 giving a clear commitment to Telangana state, anxiety among the Telangana supporters has heightened and everybody is keenly awaiting the official statement.

Apprehending protests and violence over the fresh statement of the central government, the state government has tightened the security in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana.

Hyderabad city Police Commissioner B Prasad Rao said additional forces, including three companies of central para military forces, were in the state to deal with the situation as it developed after the statement.

"We have received clear orders from the state government not to allow any trouble or violence in the city," he said.

Additional forces have also been deployed at the Osmania University campus, which had become the hub of pro-Telangana protests earlier this month.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah, after holding a meeting with the Director General of Police Girish Kumar and other officials, directed the police and intelligence to be alert.

As the state was caught in a cleft stick for last one month with both the Telangana supporters and opponents taking to the street with violent protests, the Central government was under tremendous pressure to find a middle path.

According to the sources, in the forthcoming statement, the Central government will stress the need for evolving a political consensus as well as passage of a resolution in the state assembly before initiating the process for the formation of the new state.

This will be sharply at variance with the statement of Union home minister P Chidambaram, in which he had said that the Central government will initiate the process for the formation of Telangana state, and the state government will be asked to move an appropriate resolution in the state assembly.

Sources said that the new statement will blame the present situation in the state on some political parties who had changed their stand after December 9 statement.

The statement, to be made by either the Union home minister or home secretary, has been finalised after a series of meetings, including two sittings of the core committee headed by the Congress president Sonia Gandhi over the last three days.

Central leaders including M Veerappa Moily, Chidambaram and Ahmad Patel have also held discussions with the Members of Parliament and other leaders, both from Andhra and Rayalseema regions.

According to the informed sources, the Central government was likely to set up a committee to go in to all the aspects of Telangana problem and bring about a political consensus, paving the way for bringing a resolution in the state assembly. Central government was also going to make an appeal to the people, both in Telangana and Andhra-Rayalseema region.

However, the new statement was unlikely to find acceptability among the supporters of Telangana state, who had been insisting that there was no need for resolution of assembly as the Central government had the full power to pass a legislation in Parliament to create a new state.

There was an uneasy silence prevailing at the Telangana Rashtra Samiti headquarters and no leader was willing to comment till official statement was made by the Central government.

TRS president K Chandrasekhara Rao was closeted with his senior party colleagues and was also in touch with his own sources at the Centre. He has already issued a warning to the Central government that if it reneges on its statement, there will be serious consequences.

In view of the rising tensions in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana over the possibility of change in Centre's stand, police has been put on alert. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah discussed the situation with the director general of police R Girish Kumar and the intelligence chief Mahinder Reddy and assessed the situation.

There were apprehensions that if the Central government changes its position, it can lead to fresh trouble and violent protests in Telangana region. The situation was peaceful in the region since December 9.

The people in coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions, where the normal life was paralysed for almost two weeks, are also keenly waiting for Central government's statement

Meanwhile, the situation in the state was taking a new turn at a time when Telangana Rashtra Samiti has scheduled its 'Victory rally' at Warangal on Thursday.

The party had decided to organise the rally to celebrate the earlier announcement of P Chidambaram in favour of Telangana state.

The party sources said that if Central government changes its stand under pressure from Andhra and Rayala Seema leaders, the victory celebrations will be converted into a massive protest meeting, kicking off protests across Telangana region.

A top ideologue of Telangana movement R Vidyasagar Rao has ruled out the possibility of central government reneging from its state position on Telangana state and expressed confidence that Telangana state will become a reality within a year.

Rao, one of the advisors to Chandrasekhara Rao said that central government will not go back from the statement of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and the process for the creation of the new state would continue.

"All the regions are equal for central government and its immediate concern is to restore peace and stability in the state by allaying the fears and apprehensions of the people," he said.

"What the central government can do now is set up a committee to address the issues like a new capital for Andhra state and providing a package to it to deal with its problems. "There are also apprehensions among Andhra people about their future in Telangana state. They can live in Telangana state with out any fears or problems," he said.

Rao said the proposed committee could talk to all sides to remove the irritants in the way of formation of Telangana state, but there was no question of going back on the formation of the state.

Mohammed Siddiue in Hyderabad