The Telangana Joint Action Committee went ahead with its 'vanta varpu' or cook-and-eat agitation on the roads in Hyderabad on Sunday to press for a separate Telangana state.
The day-long program turned out to be a huge hit, as thousands of families gathered at more than 1,500 points to cook, eat, sing and dance in support.
The novel protest was called by the Telangana Joint Action Committee and Telangana Rashtra Samiti and was the first major protest since the violent incidents during the Million March program in Hyderabad in March.
Leaders who participated in the program were TRS leader K Chandrasekhar Rao and his family, TRS member of Parliament and actress Vijay Shanti, Telangana Joint Action Committee convenor Kodanda Ram, balladeer Ghaddar, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders Bandaru Dattatreya and Ch Vidyasagar Rao and several members of legislative assembly.
The JAC of doctors, government employees and electricity employees also organised their own kitchens at different places.
Kodanda Ram said that people of Telangana have shown their unity and determination to fight for the issue. "They have also sent a clear message that they want Hyderabad to remain the capital of Telangana state," he said.
He warned that if even now the Central government does not concede the demand for Telanana, the agitation will be further intensified with a massive strike and an indefinite siege of Hyderabad by the people from all over Telangana.
A large number of settlers from Andhra region living in areas such as Kukatpally and LB Nagar also participated in the program.
Chandrasekhar Rao, who participated in the program in Banjara Hills and the Gun Park, demanded that the Centre should bring a bill in Parliament's monsoon session without testing the patience of the Telangana people any more.
"Running to Delhi will not solve this problem. It is them (Delhi) who should come down to Hyderabad and solve the problem," he said.
Lashing out at the Telangana Congress leaders, he said, "If they submit their resignations, the party will not accept them, but accept the demand for Telangana. Even if their resignations were accepted the TRS and the TJAC have promised that they will be re-elected with a massive majority".
"We have been agitating peacefully for a separate state. But if the Central government continues to dilly dally, the situation may get out of hand," he warned.