This Article is From Jul 31, 2013

Telangana aftermath: Protests rock Andhra Pradesh, 6 ministers quit

Telangana aftermath: Protests rock Andhra Pradesh, 6 ministers quit
Hyderabad/New Delhi: The Congress president Sonia Gandhi asked for "restraint, brotherhood and cordial relations" with people of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, a day after the Centre agreed to form a separate Telangana state. At least six state ministers and as many Congress MLAs resigned in protest against the decision. The announcement to create India's 29th state also triggered a range of political responses, including demands to consider other statehood movements across the country.

Here are the latest developments:

  1. Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions erupted today with the day-long bandh, called by the Samaikya Andhra Joint Action Committee (JAC), evoked near total response in Visakhapatnam, Vijayanagaram, Eluru, Kakinada, Vijayawada, Guntur, Nellore, Ongole, Chittoor, Tirupati, Anantapur, Kadapa, Kurnool and other towns across the state.

  2. Opposing the division of the state, students and activists from various groups took to the streets. Tension prevailed in Anantapur town of Rayalaseema as protestors opposed to the division ransacked a Congress office and set on fire the statues of former Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. One of the statues was reportedly demolished.

  3. In his meeting with the six ministers who resigned today, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who belongs to the Rayalaseema region and supports a united Andhra Pradesh, reportedly told them, "It is a painful decision for me also. But we now need to look at road ahead and how to move ahead on the new states."

  4. The chief minister has difficult days ahead. So far, at least 11 Congress leaders from the Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra regions have quit their posts to protest against the Congress Working Committee's recommendation to the Centre last evening that India's 29th state, Telangana, be created by taking 10 districts out of Andhra Pradesh.

  5. A delegation comprising Union Ministers S Jaipal Reddy, Balram Naik, MPs Ponnam Prabhakar, S Rajaiah, P Govardhana Reddy and a large contingent of state ministers from the region met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and NCP chief Sharad Pawar to thank them for the Telangana decision.

  6. A big concern in the state is the status of Hyderabad, which, the Congress suggests, will be a common capital of the two states for 10 years, after which it will be part of Telangana and the other state will get its own capital. People in the Rayalaseema region worry that if the bustling IT city is lost in the bifurcation, they will be set back by several years economically. Students in places like Tirupati say they are worried about where they will go to study and work if Hyderabad becomes part of a different state.  

  7. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu, known as the man behind modern Hyderabad, today demanded that the Centre must allocate Rs 2-4 lakh crore for a city at par with Hyderabad as the capital of Andhra Pradesh following the formation of the separate Telangana state.

  8. Over the next few months, the Centre will ensure that the concerns of the residents of Telangana and Seemandhra are addressed and resolved within "a specified time frame". The focus will be on how to distribute resources like water, electricity and revenue between the old and new states.

  9. Of Andhra Pradesh's 42 parliamentary seats, almost half lie in Telangana; by acquiescing to popular sentiment, the Congress is hoping for a windfall in the national elections, now just months away.

  10. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS, headed by K Chandrasekhara Rao or KCR who has spearheaded the demand for Telangana in recent years, has welcomed yesterday's decision, but said it wants more clarity on the status of Hyderabad as a common capital for 10 years. KCR also said that his party would wait for Parliament to approve the decision before celebrating.



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