Pro-Telangana stir reaches crescendo in 2011

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Telangana
Hyderabad, Dec 25: The separate Telangana agitation reached a crescendo in 2011 with public representatives resigning en masse from their posts and pro-Telangana employees undertaking a prolonged strike vowing not to relent.

However, political observers feel there was a lull towards the end of the year after the 'sakala janula samme' (strike by all sections of people) ended, a contention dismissed by the Telangana Political Joint Action Committee (JAC), spearheading the agitation.

"The movement would go on in a different form. It need not be a people-centric movement always. Other forces can step in. It is not possible to organise a mass movement on a continuous basis. However, it can become a mass movement again," JAC convener M Kodandaram told PTI.

The report of the Sri Krishna Committee, appointed to go into the contentious issue, was released at an all-party meeting on January six.

As the panel made six suggestions without emphatically recommending formation of a separate Telangana, the pro-statehood supporters vowed not to relent until their goal is achieved.

Pro-Telangana employees of the government started a non- cooperation agitation on February 17 which severely hampered administrative work in the region.

The stir, which resulted in massive revenue loss to the state exchequer, was called off after 15 days. The sessions of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly and Parliament witnessed disruptions and boycott by the MLAs and MPs of TRS, TDP and the ruling Congress in February and March.

The agitation turned violent during the 'million march' The agitation turned violent during the 'million march' called by JAC on the Tank Bund road at the Hussain Sagar lake here on March 10. The agitators vandalised statues of several Telugu icons and clashed with policemen.

They contended that several great personalities from Telangana were ignored in the installation of the statues during late N T Rama Rao's regime.

In July, as many as 100 MLAs and several MPs, cutting across party lines, submitted resignations in a bid to mount pressure on the Centre towards accepting the separate statehood demand.

The en masse resignations were, however, rejected by the Assembly Speaker on the ground that they were submitted in an emotionally charged atmosphere.

The Telangana supporters had a major success in August with the Centre deleting the Clause 14 (f) of the 1975 Presidential order.

The Clause made Hyderabad a free zone for employment and its removal meant the Andhra Pradesh capital would become a part of other Telangana districts.

The Telangana JAC launched 'sakala janula samme' from September 13. The 42-day-long strike crippled normal life in the region as pro-Telangana employees, staff of the state-run Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), miners, teachers, lawyers and even priests in temples took part in the agitation.

The Telangana JAC, which comprises TRS, BJP and a number of people's organisations, was often involved in a war of words with the Telugu Desam.

While the JAC accusing the TDP of having an ambivalent policy on pro-Telangana demand, the Chandrababu Naidu-led party asserted that the JAC always acted at the behest of TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Freedom fighter and Telangana protagonist Konda Laxman Freedom fighter and Telangana protagonist Konda Laxman Bapuji held a fast in Delhi which received support from the TDP and various other pro-Telangana groups but the TRS stayed away from the event.

The pro-Telangana agitation turned out to be a major issue of concern to the Congress high command during the year as several Telangana Congress MLAs and MPs expressed resentment over the attitude of the party leadership towards their demand.

The Telangana Congress MPs, in particular, attacked Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy for allegedly trying to suppress the agitation.

Union Minister and AICC in-charge of Congress affairs in Andhra Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad walked the tightrope walk and initiated a process of consultations with the party leaders from the Telangana and non-Telangana regions.

The Telangana supporters seemed to be disappointed when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made it clear that a decision on the separate statehood issue can be taken only after evolving a consensus so that it did not lead to further complications.

Meanwhile, the leaders and supporters of 'Samaikya Andhra' (united Andhra Pradesh) continued to voice their stance that keeping the state united is in the interest of all regions.

PTI

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