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Rediff.com  » News » Ripples in AP ahead of Telangana 'Million March'

Ripples in AP ahead of Telangana 'Million March'

March 07, 2011 21:09 IST

With the date of 'Million March' of Telangana supporters fast approaching, political temperature continues to rise in Andhra Pradesh.

The Telangana Joint Action Committee, which has called the march programme on March 10, has rejected the demand for its postponement.

TJAC convenor Prof Kodanda Ram has made it clear that the programme will be held on March 10 but its timing will be changed from morning to the afternoon to ensure that the students going for Intermediate examinations are not affected.

Prof Kodanda Ram was responding to the demand from various quarters that the 'Million March' should be postponed for a few days in view of the Intermediate and CBSE examinations currently on.

After the TJAC meeting in Hyderabad on Monday, Prof Kodanda Ram said that there was no question of postponing the programme because the opponents of Telangana state were trying to scuttle the march on one pretext or the other.

"We will ensure that the students going for examinations were not put to hardship", he said. Instead of the original programme of starting the protest from 11 am, the programme will now be held from 1 pm to 4 pm, he said.

'Million March' has the support of all the pro-Telangana mass organisations, many political parties including the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, Communist Party of India, Bharatiya Janata Party and the Telangana groups of Congress and Telugu Desam.

The Joint Action Committee of students, doctors, lawyers, government employees and other professionals are also supporting the programme.

Organisers hope that about fifty lakh people from all over the Telangana region will descend on Hyderabad to show their strength to press the demand for a separate state.

"The people will come in form of processions from different places to Tank Bund and stage a dharna. Nobody will give any speech. Only Telangana artists will perform," Prof Ram said.

"The main purpose is that all the people of Telangana should stand together and raise a united voice to demand the Central and the state government to give us our Telangana," he said. "We want the Central government to move the Telangana bill in Parliament immediately," he said.

Initially, TRS was also tilting towards the postponement of the protest programme and party president K Chandrasekhar Rao had also spoken to TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu about the issue. But  TJC refused to budge from its stand.

Meanwhile, the internal differences within TDP over the Telangana issue have taken a new curious turn pitting one group of Telangana leaders against the other and the situation had become more complicated for the party president Chandrababu Naidu.

A strange spectacle was seen in the state legislative assembly when senior TDP leader N Janardhan Reddy shouted slogans in support of Telangana and disrupted proceedings. Other TDP legislators from Telangana region strongly opposed him and criticised him, saying he should allow the smooth conduct of the House.

Slogan shouting and display of placard by Janardhan Reddy led to the adjournment of House thrice during the day. At one stage Reddy went near the podium of the Speaker and sat on dharna. He was hurt by the attitude of his party colleagues from Telangana.

Later, outside the House, Janardhan Reddy said that he raised the Telangana issue in the assembly because TDP was committed to the Telangana state.

He said when Telangana legislators from ruling Congress party, TRS, BJP, CPI were boycotting the House, how TDP's Telangana members can stay in the House and allow the proceedings.

He said that even if Chandrababu Naidu takes action against him, he will continue his protest. "If we (Telangana legislators) sit with Andhra and Rayalseema legislators and allow assembly to continue, what kind of message we are sending to the people of Telangana?" he said.

With his protest Janardhan Reddy has become a hero of sorts as Telangana supporters lauded his action and took out rallies in his support. At the same time they strongly condemned the other TDP legislators for his actions and alleged that he was acting as the puppet of Andhra and Rayalseema leaders.

Later in the evening Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting with the Telangana region leaders of his party to chalk out the future strategy.   

Only 14 TDP legislators attended the meeting. Janardhan Reddy was conspicuous by his absence indicating that the growing wedge between him and Naidu.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad