Reiterating its demand for the formation and recognition of a separate Telangana state, the Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS) called for a series of hunger strikes and protests in the coming weeks to strengthen the movement. Intensifying the simmering stir, senior TRS leaders met here to discuss the strategy and plans for the strikes. Hundreds of highly charged pro-Telangana activists and supporters would be a part of the renewed wave of protests and strikes that is slated to begin from Friday, Jan 21.
In the first phase of the struggle, TRS leaders would go on an indefinite strike to demand the smooth passage of the Telangana Bill in the upcoming budget session. In the second phase, the TRS activists would tour across the region to spread awareness and mobilise support towards the cause. TRS legislators warned they would stall all sessions in the state assembly and the Parliament until the Bill was passed.
"Here, in the state assembly and in the parliament, with the onset of the budget session, the movement will reach its peak. We will surely stall the houses both here and there until the Bill is introduced in the parliament," said K.T. Rama Rao, a TRS legislator. Rao said that students from the Osmania University, who have played a pivotal role in the movement, would also be 'sensitising' people with the provisions of the Bill.
"We will take this to the grassroots and we want to involve all sections of the society. At a very high level, it has been decided that we will start off in a hundred plus constituencies to begin with. That would involve thousands of villages. Going forward, there is a tour by the students of Osmania University and other universities from Telangana," he added.
Several protests and shutdowns had brought Andhra Pradesh to a near halt last year as pro-Telangana activists pressed their demand for the separate state. A concerned central government appointed a judicial commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Srikrishna in March last year to look into issue of the separate statehood after series of huge demonstrations and suicides.
The report, recently submitted to Home Minister P. Chidambaram has suggested at least six options including maintaining status quo in the state or bifurcating the state.