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Telangana: JAC extends resignation deadline

By Mohammed Siddique
January 29, 2010 09:22 IST

The Telangana Joint Action Committee has extended the deadline for the resignations of public representatives from Telangana till February 7 in view of Thursday's statement of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram that The Centre will constitute a committee to look into the Telangana issue, within a week.

The JAC however decided to continue the protests to build pressure on the Centre and made it clear that if the Centre failed to come out with a clear statement on the formation of Telangana, the JAC will call for immediate resignations by the legislators and MPs from the region.

The decision was taken at a stormy meeting of the all-party JAC which continued well into the night. Telangana Congress leaders R Damodar Reddy and Basavaraj Saraiah were completely isolated in the meeting as all other participants wanted to go ahead with the resignations on Friday.

The Congress leaders, who had welcomed Chidambaram's statement as a move forward, wanted the JAC to extend the deadline to give time to the Centre to come out with a detailed statement on the formation of a committee. Damodar Reddy insisted that the committee would be meant only to go in to the demand for Telangana state and nothing else. But other parties specially the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and Telugu Desam insisted that Chidambaram's statement was nothing but a tactics to put the Telangana issue in 'cold storage'. "We are all going to resign and you will also have to resign", other participants told the Congress leaders.

Sources said that an angry Damodar Reddy took objection to the criticism saying, "when we have brought the issue this far, can't we achieve Telangana state. After we have forced the Centre to accept our demand, it is improper to talk this way".

Finally the TJAC passed a resolution making it clear that the deadline was being extended on the request of the Congress party. TJAC convenor Professor Kodandaram told the media after the meeting that steering committee meet will be held on Friday to chalk out the programs and mode of protest till February 7.

Earlier the JAC had fixed the deadline of January 28 for the central government to come out with a clear statement and time frame for carving out Telangna state. Apart from the non Congress political parties the mass organizations were also unhappy with the decision to postponed the resignations by ten days. The Students Joint Action Committee gave vent to its frustration and disappointment by taking out a "funeral procession" with Chidamaram's effigy  and decided to intensify its agitation for Telangana state.

Security was tightened in Hyderabad and prohibitory orders were imposed banning processions, rallies and meetings till Monday. Additional police forces were deployed at the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly building.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad