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Telangana crisis: activists reject PM's appeal

October 03, 2011 23:05 IST

Rejecting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's appeal, Telangana protesters on Monday threatened to intensify their agitation if the Centre does not immediately announce the formation of the state even as Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrasekhar Rao declared he may go on a fast-unto-death.

After a 30-minute meeting with Singh, Rao and Joint Action Committee convener Prof Kodhandaram said they were not satisfied with the Prime Minister's response when he  sought "some more time" to decide on the issue.

"The PM asked us to call off the agitation. We told him it is not in our hands. People are very angry in Telangana and they have even decided not to celebrate festivals. People are dying everyday for the cause of Telangana," he told reporters after his meeting.

Rao said the delegation, that had members from his TRS party and also the JAC, told the Prime Minister that an "expedited" solution to the vexed issue should be found immediately.

"I may go on a fast-unto-death... the date, venue and time would be decided by the Joint Action Committee," he said when asked whether he would again go on a fast.

Rao's 9-day fast in December 2009 had forced the Centre to announce initiation of process for formation of Telangana state. But, later it said the situation had "altered" and emphasised the need for "further consultation".

"He was telling us that he understands the demand, the sentiments and aspirations of the people. But he did not give any assurance to us. He told us that a process is underway and consultations are on and said that will take some more time," he said.

Rao made it clear that the agitation would not end "until the Centre announces the formation of a separate Telangana state with a clear-cut time-frame and road-map."

"Without that, it is not possible for us to call-off the agitation. The momentum will be kept up and we will decide," he said.

Rao said "as a matter of fact we are not satisifed with the Prime Minister's response. He was just saying he understands the sentiments and respects their aspirations."

Rao, who during the day met Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and CPI leader A B Bardhan, said both assured their parties' support for the formation of a separate Telangana state.

He said both Swaraj and Bardhan would write to Singh separately on Tuesday seeking an "early decision" on the Telangana issue.

Meeting Rao and Congress leaders from the agitation-hit region separately during the day, Singh told both the delegations that he would brief the party leadership, including its chief Sonia Gandhi, and the Core Group on his deliberations with them.

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