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Telangana issue being put in cold storage, allege leaders

By Mohammed Siddique
February 12, 2010 11:20 IST
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The seven point terms of reference of the Srikrishna Commission, announced on Friday, has evoked a negative response from the leaders of the pro-Telangana movement.
The Union home ministry announced the terms of reference of the five-member committee and set a deadline of December 31. The ministry asked the committee to look in to the demands for a separate Telangana and for an undivided Andhra Pradesh.
The Telangana Rashtra Samiti, which has been spearheading the movement for the last ten years, has expressed his disapproval of the terms.

TRS president and member of Lok Sabha K Chandrasekhara Rao said, "It seems to be an attempt to hoodwink and cheat the people of Telangana. The terms of reference, specially asking the committee to look into both the demands, is an evidence of this," he said.
TRS has convened an emergency meeting of its leaders today to discuss the terms of reference. The party has also called a politburo meeting on Saturday to chalk out its future course of action.

Ponnam Prabhakar, convener of the Congress MPs' forum, has also expressed reservations over the terms of reference. "Why seek the opinion of the people of Andhra and Rayala Seema region, when everybody knows that they want an united Andhra Pradesh? The people of Telangana are unanimous in demanding a separate state and their sentiments should be respected and statehood granted to them," he said.
He had no objection to the timeframe of 10-months, saying the committee needs that much time to complete its work. "But there should not be any extensions," he said.
Prabhakar also questioned the terms of reference pertaining to the assessment of development in different regions. "It is a just the question of development. Development is our fundamental right and a separate state is our birth right," he said.
V Prakash of the Telangana Vimochana Samiti made it clear that the time frame of 10 months given to the committee was not acceptable. "it should not be more than three months," he said.
T Harish Rao, TRS Member of Legislative Assembly, claimed that the intentions behind the terms of reference were suspicious "It appears that this is a conspiracy to put this issue in the cold storage and once again cheat the people of Telangana," he said.  
"The time frame of ten months is very, very long and there is no need for so much time," he said.
The Telangana Joint Action Committee is scheduled to meet later in the day to discuss the terms of reference.
Some leaders of the JAC believe that the terms of reference were framed to appease the leaders of coastal Andhra region and to keep the issue of Telangana state on the backburner.
"Where is the need of talking to Andhra leaders when Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had already announced on December 9 that the process of formation of Telangana state had begun," a leader of JAC said.

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad