New Delhi: Congress workers along with the party's lawmakers from Andhra Pradesh staged a protest outside North Block, which houses the Home Ministry, in New Delhi on Friday, as they put forward their long pending demand for carving a separate state of Telangana
At the heart of the dispute is the status of Hyderabad, geographically within the proposed new state, but claimed by both sides. Opponents of Telangana said the city was built into an economic powerhouse by investments from entrepreneurs from other regions of the state.
An all-party meeting was also held earlier in the day to find a solution over the Telangana issue.
Protesters came out in droves and shouted anti-government slogans.
The member of Indian National Congress Party, V. Hanumantha Rao said that Telangana is a serious issue as around 600 to 700 people have sacrificed their life for the cause.
"The Telangana issue is a very serious issue and around 600 to 700 people have been killed. They (lawmakers) get 15 to 16 seats out public sentiment. The public had got this feeling for Telangana and they feel that by voting some concrete solution could be found out. The people of Andhra Pradesh are unnecessarily objecting it," said Rao.
The chances of an immediate resolution, paving the way for the formation of Telangana appears slim, as most politicians are sharply divided within their own respective parties on this issue.
The lawmaker and General Secretary of India's regional Rashtriya Lok Dal, Jayant Chaudhary extended his support for the creation of the separate state of Telangana and added that the government should take a decision, which is in the interest of the nation.
"Telangana movement is going on for a long time as people's movement. The movement is going on for decades and it has taken violent turns. We are in support of the carving a separate state of Telangana. A decision like this is difficult for the government but in democracy, consensus cannot be developed. The government should see that which decision is in the interest of the nation. The people of Telangana will be benefited if Telangana is formed and if the issue is resolved then Andhra Pradesh and other states will also be benefited," said Chaudhary.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) President K. Chandrasekhar Rao, popularly known as KCR, on Friday dismissed the all-party meeting as an absolutely futile exercise and a drama.
KCR expressed disappointment with today"s all-party meeting on Telangana.
"It is thoroughly hopeless meeting, useless meeting. Nothing has come out of this meeting. And he did not show any roadmap or any thing. It was a futile meeting. In fact, nothing has come out of this meeting. I am quite dissatisfied. We are not satisfied at all," KCR told mediapersons after the meeting.
"They said like this not less than thousand times. Who are going to believe them? Having called the all-party meeting, he would have said within a week. He should have said that he would talk to the Prime Minister after today"s meeting. Do we really require one month"s time? This is all drama. They have been playing the drama and they are continuing it," he added.
KCR, who has emerged as strong force in the politics of Andhra Pradesh in the recent times, further said that his party cadres would now meet to decide on the future course of action.
"I am not at all satisfied. They lied upon so many times. We don"t believe them. Now, I have announced a Telangana bandh tomorrow," he said.
Members of the regional parties from Andhra Pradesh, who attended today"s meeting, also described it to be "inconclusive".
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who presided over today"s all-party meeting on Telangana, said the Centre would take a decision on the statehood issue within a month.
"The meeting was very cordial. Some representatives said the decision should be given as early as possible, and some said that it should be taken within a month," he said.
Shinde said he has full faith that there will be a solution to the problems being faced by people of Andhra Pradesh.
The four-decade-old demand for Telangana, which is to be carved out of the economically less developed part of Andhra Pradesh, gathered momentum after the Congress-led UPA Government accepted the demand in principle.
So far, 33 Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Praja Rajyam Party and Independent lawmakers hailing from the Telangana region have resigned from parliament and the Andhra State Assembly.
The Telangana region comprises 10 Andhra Pradesh districts: Hyderabad, Adilabad, Khammam, Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Nalgonda, Nizamabad, Rangareddy, and Warangal. The Musi River, Krishna and Godavari rivers flow through the region from west to east.
Since Telangana was merged with Andhra state to form Andhra Pradesh state in 1956, there were several agitations in Telangana to invalidate the merger and to form Telangana state. On December 9, 2009, Government of India announced process of formation of Telangana state.
Due to objections raised in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions immediately after the announcement, and due to the agitation in those regions for 14 days, the decision to form the new state was put on hold on December 23, 2009.
There have several movements to invalidate the merger of Telangana and Andhra, major ones occurring in 1969, 1972 and 2000s onwards. Since December 2009, Telangana movement intensified and it continued to dominate the state politics and is the cause of instability in the region.