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Telangana bandh throws Andhra out of gear

Last updated on: July 5, 2011 11:24 IST

Telangana bandh throws Andhra out of gear

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Vicky Nanjappa

The Telangana crisis gripped Andhra Pradesh yet again with the call for a two-day bandh. Schools and colleges in the region are closed, the streets isolated and the security across the state has been stepped up. The movement gathered further steam with TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao and and party MP Vijayshanthi resigning from their Lok Sabha membership in support of the demand for a separate state.

Hyderabad has been placed under high alert as the 48-hour bandh called by pro-activists began on Tuesday morning. Security has been beefed up across the Telangana region especially in the capital city.

Schools, colleges, shops and other commercial establishments were closed and public transport services were hit due to the bandh in all Telangana districts. The Joint Action Committee, which has announced a series of protests in support of the separate statehood call, has also called for a rail blockade on July 8 and 9.

The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation suspended its services at various places as a precautionary measures and commuters had a tough time reaching their destinations. The bandh supporters held demonstrations and stopped vehicular movement at various places.

City buses of APSRTC in Hyderabad largely remained off the roads and consequently, the auto drivers had a field day.

With inputs from PTI


Image: Security has been tightened in Hyderabad, with the deployment of Rapid Action Force in busy areas
Photographs: Snaps India
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KCR, Vijayshanthi play resignation card

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On Monday, the state plunged into a constitutional crisis as 73 members of the Legislative Assembly and 10 members of Parliament from both the Congress and the Telegu Desam Party hailing from the Telangana region submitted their resignations.

The movement further further steam with TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao and party MP Vijayshanthi resigning from their Lok Sabha membership in support of the demand for a separate state.

Chadrasekhar Rao and Shanthi faxed their resignation letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker. Rao would meet the Speaker personally in a day or two.JAC has also planned to organise the blockade of national highways and other protests in the coming days, TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao announced on Monday after a meeting of the JAC. The JAC comprises TRS, BJP and a number of peoples' organisations.

JAC leader for Telangana, Kodanda Ram said this has been going on while the people protested and the politicians watched. "Today onwards it will be the other way round," he said. As talks between the Union government and the Telangana MLAs and MPs continue, the deadlock continues as well.


Image: TRS Preisdent K Chandersheker Rao with suspended TDP MLA Janardhan Reddy and TRS MP and film actress
Photographs: Snaps India
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'Step up pressure on government'

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The Centre's discussion with the MLAs and MPs commenced with the former offering a special package for Telangana. Then they said that they would start discussions on the issue. When none of these worked, the government assured that they would ensure that Telangana is no longer a free zone.

This means no person from Andhra and Rayalseema can get government jobs in Hyderabad and these jobs would be reserved only for the people of Telangana. However, the leaders remained adamant and made it clear all these issues are secondary.

The protestors while showing their appreciation towards those leaders who have tendered their resignations are keeping a close watch on the ten ministers from the Telangana region, who are part of the Kiran Kumar Reddy government. The procedure followed by some ministers while submitting their resignations has been in correct. As per the rulebook,   ministers should submit their resignations to the governor and not to the Speaker. These ministers tried to wriggle out of the fight on the grounds of technicality, say protestors.

The leaders should keep the pressure on at all times. Andhra Speaker N Manohar, who is scheduled to return on Tuesday, will take a look at the resignations. There is no time limit for him to accept these resignations. He has the power to accept these resignations after meeting each of these leaders personally-- a process which could take months, say agitators.


Image: TDP MLAs protest in Hyderabad on Monday
Photographs: Snaps India
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All eyes on Osamania University

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Meanwhile, the Union government has written to the President Pratibha Patil seeking an amendment in the Constitution as far as Hyderabad is concerned. They had assured that they would not keep Hyderabad as a free zone. This would mean that only those from the Telangana region will be able to secure government jobs in Hyderabad. However, both the activists and the MLAs have rejected this offer and said that they will settle for nothing short of a separate state.

"These issues are secondary and can be discussed later. First give us Telangana and then talk about the rest," the leaders told the government in New Delhi on Monday night.



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