Centre surrenders to TRS chief's demands, Andhra may soon be split

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New Delhi/Hyderabad, Dec 10 (ANI): Under tremendous pressure, the Centre late on Wednesday night accepted the demand of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K Chandrashekhar Rao for the formation of a Telangana State.

The TRS chief, who had been on a fast unto death and was admitted in the ICU of Hyderabad's Nizam Hospital, finally broke his fast early this morning, expressing his delight over the result.

A decision to activate the process for the formation of a separate State of Telangana was taken at a late night meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah after two rounds of consultations with the Congress Core Committee and Sonia Gandhi.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said, "After these consultations, I am making this statement. The process of forming the state of Telangana will be initiated. An appropriate resolution will be moved in the state Assembly."

Chidambaram added that the Central Government was concerned over the Telangana issue and after extensive consultations with the Prime Minister and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosiah, this decision was taken.

The Telangana region accounts for 119 of the 294 assembly seats in Andhra Pradesh and 17 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats.

The Centre and the Congress party were forced to take this stride, due to the deterioration in the health of Rao, whose fast-unto-death had entered the 11th day on Wednesday.

The decision comes in the backdrop of a strong demand by Congress MPs belonging to the Telangana region, which met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and demanded for the creation of a Telangana state.

The Centre has asked Chief Minister Rosaiah to withdraw cases against leaders, students and those associated with the separate Telangana agitation. Chidambaram has requested the students to withdraw their agitation.

But another big issue that has worried the Centre is what would happen to Hyderabad, as the TRS is firm on its decision that Telangana without Hyderabad is unthinkable.

KT Rama Rao, the son of TRS chief said, "Telangana without Hyderabad was unimaginable"

On Wednesday, as Andhra government struggled to maintain law and order. Rosaiah had left it to the Congress' central command in Delhi to decide on the issue and even arrived in New Delhi to hold talks with Sonia Gandhi to seek her decision over the Telangana issue.

The government feared that reports of the deteriorating health of TRS chief would incite violence in the state that was already simmering over the Telangana movement.

Cutting across party lines, Members of Parliament had on Wednesday urged the UPA Government at the Centre to step in to end the impasse over the Telangana issue in Andhra Pradesh.

Expressing alarm and concern over reports of the deteriorating health of TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao, they had appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to initiate moves to end the stalemate.

Members of Parliament had also appealed Rao to end his fast, as his medical condition was described as critical.

The TRS supporters had aggressively taken their campaign forward for a separate State.

Rao's family and supporters had also pleaded with him to end his fast, but the TRS chief was determined and adamant that only signals from the Center could make him change his decision.

With the situation outside Osmania University and the Andhra Pradesh Assembly particularly tensed, the security in Hyderabad was also increased. On December 10, all the groups in favour of the Telangana cause had called for a "Chalo Assembly" shutdown.

Police had imposed Section 144 in the region. There were around 12,500 policemen deployed outside Osmania University in anticipation of the unrest. To add to that, armed reserve police had been summoned from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to work with local policemen and security forces to prevent protesters from entering Hyderabad.

At Osmania University on Tuesday, the students had defied a government order to vacate their hostels. Professors had also threatened to quit if the police were not withdrawn from the campus. Students were baton charged by police on Monday.

The university was closed down last week till the December 18 as a precaution against violence, but it remained in many ways the epicenter of the Telangana protest.

The TRS wanted Chief Minister K Rosaiah to move a resolution on Telangana, so that parties could vote on the matter. (ANI)

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