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After Centre's move, Telengana to shut down for 48 hours

By Mohammad Siddique
Last updated on: December 23, 2009 22:42 IST
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Telangana is one again on the boil. The latest statement of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram -- that the central government will hold wide ranging consultations with all the political parties on the issue of Telangana state -- has evoked angry reaction from the leaders of all the parties.

Leaders of the ruling Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, Bharatiya Janata Party and Telugu Desam Party have decided to come together to form a Joint Action Committee.

Rejecting Chidambaram's statement that there was a lack of political consensus, the TRS, BJP and all other parties have called for a 48-hours strike in Telangana region from Thursday to intensify their fight for Telangana.

The BJP has also given a call for strike. TRS President K Chandrasekhara Rao has become the first Telangana MP to quit his seat. He faxed his resignation letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

While angry students have once again hit the roads and targeted the buses and other vehicles in Hyderabad, Warangal and other places, at least half a dozen members of legislative assembly from Telangana belonging to Congress, TDP and PRP have announced their resignations.

They include E Dayakar Rao and L Ramnna of TDP, Maheshwar Reddy of PRP and Narsa Reddy and couple of other MLAs of Congress. Warangal mayor E Swarna has also resigned from her post.

Chandrasekhara Rao said that all the elected representatives from the members of Gram Panchyat to assembly and Parliament will send their resignation on Thursday.

Soon after Chidambaram's brief statement in Delhi, Telangana Rashtra Samiti President K Chandrasekhara Rao got together with senior Congress leaders from Telangana former ministers K Jana Reddy and R Damodar Reddy and announced their plans to launch a united agitation from Thursday.

"Chidambaram's statement is an attempt to put Telangana issue in cold storage," he said, pointing out that he did not give any time frame for the wide-ranging consultations with all the parties.

Rao and Jana Reddy said that a meeting of all the Telangana leaders will be held in Hyderabad on Thursday to formally establish a joint action committee to steer the agitation. He said that the Telugu Desam will also be consulted before finalising the JAC.

Rao charged the Chief Minister K Rosaiah with partiality against Telangana region and demanded immediate lifting of prohibitory orders imposed on Wednesday to prevent the protests in the region against Chidambaram's statement. He said that when the protests were on in coastal Andhra and Rayala Seema, prohibitory orders were not imposed there and leaders like Chiranjeevi and TDP legislators were allowed to take out Yatras.

Tension was prevailing in Hyderabad, Warangal and other parts of Telangana as hundreds of students and youth have come out on the streets. Several buses and other vehicles were damaged. There was also clash between the students of Osmania University and the police after stones were pelted on police vehicle.

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Mohammad Siddique in Hyderabad