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Rediff.com  » News » Telangana issue heats up: Resigned leaders on hunger strike

Telangana issue heats up: Resigned leaders on hunger strike

July 13, 2011 14:54 IST

As Telangana braces up for yet another battle for a separate state, all the Congress and Telugu Desam Party MPs and MLAs who resigned their posts embarked upon a mass hunger strike on Wednesday.

The leaders who are parked in Hyderabad will be on fast in a bid to pressurise the government to speed up the process to declare a separate Telangana state.

Even as the Andhra Pradesh government tries to buy more time in deciding on the contentious issue, all the leaders who have resigned their posts already have their future course of action planned out.

A further delay in announcing a separate Telangana would only result in the formation of a new political outfit called the Telangana Political Join Action Committee.

The leaders from both the Congress and the TDP who have resigned have decided that if Telangana is not declared then they would not contest the elections under the banner of their existing parties.

All the leaders would come under the fold of the Telangana Political JAC and contest the elections under that banner.

This would effectively mean the end of all other political parties in the Telangana region since these leaders are riding very high on the sympathy factor from the voters after they put in their papers.

In addition to this, they are also riding high on the promise made by Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K Chandrasekara Rao. He had said if these leaders resign and have to face the bypolls, he would not field any candidate against them which would ensure that they win the polls almost unopposed.

In the days to come there are expected to be a couple of developments with the Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh assembly coming back to town. All the resignations have been kept in abeyance as of now and the Speaker's arrival was being awaited to make the final decision.

However, sources now indicate that he may not accept the resignations stating that the decision was an emotional one and taken in haste. This is being considered as a good ground to reject the resignations.

The leaders who have resigned however are aware of the backlash they will face from the protesting public if they sit quiet.

While embarking on their hunger strike they have assured the public that they will put in their papers once again if their resignations are not accepted.

"There is no way in which we will continue in the government until our demands are met, the leaders have also assured the people of Telangana," one of them said.

Meanwhile, the statements made by Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on the Telangana issue has come under severe fire by the activists demanding a separate state.

Azad had said on Tuesday that a decision would be taken once the assembly passes a unanimous resolution on the issue.

It makes no sense and being in such an important position he should understand the law better, the activists said.

Article 3 of the Indian Constitution makes it clear that in such matters a resolution by the assembly is not necessary. It is for the Union government to decide on the issue. A decision has to be taken by the Union Cabinet and a bill should be passed, an activist noted.

Once the President signs the bill it has to be sent to the state assembly for an opinion. This is just a routine procedure and there is no onus on the state government to act first on the issue, the activist added.

Image:  Telangana leaders who have quit their posts in a hunger strike in Hyderabad on Wednesday

Photograph: SnapsIndia

Vicky Nanjappa