'Padyatras of CM, Naidu and Sharmila unwelcome in Telangana'

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Hyderabad, Oct 19: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, YSR Congress leader Sharmila and Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu are in the midst of their respective padyatras across the state but they have not ventured so far into the Telangana region that has been witnessing near continuous protests.

The reason is obvious. The Telangana Political Joint Action Committee (TJAC) is of the opinion that all those who have not openly backed their demand for a separate state should stay away from the region.

According to TJAC chairman Professor M Kodandaram, people of Telangana have every right to protest if the CM, Chandrababu Naidu or Sharmila's padyatras go through the region.

Urging the ministers hailing from Telangana to avoid participating in the Andhra Pradesh Formation Day celebrations, Kodandaram said that Nov 1 will be observed by the pro-Telangana outfits across the region as the Telangana betrayal day.

He stressed that schools and colleges based in Telangana should not organise celebrations to mark AP Formation Day. The educational institutions should also ensure that none of their students attend any such celebration on Nov 1, the TJAC chairman said.

When newspersons asked him about the cases registered against Telangana activists and leaders, Kodandaram replied that ministers from the region must do something in this regard.

He asserted that the Telangana Political Joint Action Committee will stage protests until the UPA government decides to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. The other organisations and political parties which are similarly seeking a Telangana state will continue their agitations too, he added.

Several parties including the ruling Congress had promised in their election manifestos to accord statehood to the region that has witnessed far lesser development compared to the rest of Andhra Pradesh.

This is the main reason cited by pro-Telangana activists who are pressing for a separate state. The then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram gave them fresh hope nearly three years ago when he announced the process of forming the state of Telangana.

Following 14 days of violent protests in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, the Centre however backtracked on Dec 23, 2009.

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