Telangana History Sri Krishna Committee
The government appointed a five member committee with Justice Sri Krishna to examine the fea-sibility of creating a separate Telangana state on February 3, 2010. Professor (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, – Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi, Dr. Abusaleh Shariff, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Delhi, Dr. (Ms.) Ravinder Kaur, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT, Delhi ana Vinod K. Duggal, former Home Secretary, who also functioned as its Member-Secretary were the other four members of Sri Krishna Committee.
There are seven Terms of Reference for the committee.
1. To examine the situation in the State of Andhra Pradesh with reference to the demand for a sep¬arate State of Telangana as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh.
2. To review the developments in the State since its formation and their impact on the progress and development of the different regions of the State.
3. To examine the impact of the recent developments in the State on the different sections of the people such as women, children, students, minorities, other backward classes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.
4. To identify the key issues that must be addressed.
5. To consult all sections of the people, especially the political parties, on the aforesaid matters and.elicit their views; to seek from the political parties and other organisations a range of solu-tions that would resolve the present difficult situation and promote the welfare of all sections of the people; to identify the optimal solutions for this purpose; and tc recommend a plan of action and a road map.
6. To consult other organisations of civil society
such as industry, trade, trade unions, farmers’ organisations, women’s organisations and stu-dents’ organisations on the aforesaid matters and elicit their views with specific reference to the all round development of the different regions of the State.
7. To make any other suggestion or recommenda¬tion that the Committee may deem appropriate. The Srikrishna Committee solicited suggestions and views from political parties, social organisa¬tions, and other stakeholders. The committee received over 60,000 petitions by the deadline of 10 April. The committee began personal interactions with the various stakeholders, including the political parties on 16 April. The committee met with the leaders of ,TRS, PRP, CPI, MIM, TDP and various organisations from throughout Andhra Pradesh. On 6th July, Telangana Congress legislators and minis¬ters met with the Srikrishna committee and made arguments in favour of the formation of Telangana state.
It toured all the regions of state extensively and invited people from all sections of the society to give their opinion on the statehood. It received over one lakh petitions and representations from political parties, organisations, NGOs and individuals. It also held consultations with political parties and general public while also factoring in the impact of recent developments on different sections of people such as women, children, students, minorities, other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The 461 page report was released to the public on the internet on 6th January 2011.
The Committee’s report suggested 6 options of which options 1 through 4 were advised to be not feasible. The Fifth option is to bifurcate the State into Telangana with Hyderabad as its capital and Seemandhra which is to have a new capital city. The Committee noted that “Separation is recommended only in case it is unavoidable and if this decision can be reached amicably amongst all the three regions.” The Sixth and the option that the Committee rec¬ommended as the “way forward” is to keep the state united and “establishment of a statutory and empowered Telangana Regional Council with ade¬quate transfer of funds, functions and functionaries in keeping with the spirit of Gentlemen Agreement of 1956”
The six options presented in the report were as follows:
1. Maintaining Status Quo – Keeping the Andhra Pradesh State as it is with no change in the Telangana, Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra regions.
2. Bifurcating the state of Andhra Pradesh into Seemandhra and Telangana regions with both of them developing their own capitals in due course of time. Hyderabad to be converted to a Union Territory – This proposal was similar to the Punjab-Haryana-Chandigarh model.
3. Dividing Andhra Pradesh into two states – as Rayala-Telangana with Hyderabad as its capi¬tal and as Coastal Andhra Pradesh with a new capital to be built
4. Dividing Andhra Pradesh into Seemandhra and Telangana with enlarged Hyderabad Metropolis as a separate Union Territory that will be linked geographically to district Guntur in coastal Andhra via Nalgonda district in the southeast and via Mahabubnagar district in the south to Kurnool district in Rayalaseema
5. Bifurcation of the State into Telangana and Seemandhra as per existing boundaries with Hyderabad as the capital of Telangana and Seemandhra to have a new capital.
6. Keeping the State united and providing for creation of a statutorily empowered Telangana Regional Council for socio-economic development and political development of Telangana region.
1.The Sri Krishna Commission remarked that “It is a fact that most of the economic and develop-mental parameters show that Telangana (excluding Hyderabad) is either on par with or a shade lower than coastal Andhra; but once Hyderabad is included, the situation in Telangana is far better.
2. In comparison with the Rayalaseema region, the Commission remarked that “Thus, on the whole, it would appear that the deprived region is Rayalaseema not Telangana.
3. Overall, in spite of 50-plus years of policy protected planning and execution, one finds regional variations in the economic development of Andhra Pradesh. The rate of growth in the development parameters summed up below is found to be robust both in Telangana (even after excluding Hyderabad) and coastal Andhra.
4. The Commission noted that the Planning Commission had notified as backward nine of the ten Telangana districts, with the exception of Hyderabad, and resources have been allocat¬ed under its Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF). These districts contain 87% of the population of Telangana.
5. Considering the allegation that “Telangana has lower per capita income, lower access to employ-ment, lower business opportunities and low access to education and so on”, the Commission says, “At the outset, some or all such allegations appear true when absolute amounts, numbers and percentages are reviewed”.
6. “The implementation of G.O. 610 was, at best, tardy, which remains a grievance of Telangana employees. This issue continues to be highly contentious even today .” Girglani Report on GO. 610 noted that while thousands of jobs were diverted by Seemandhra persons, only 18,856 employees are identified in total and 14,784 employees are already repatriated to their native Zones. Most of the violations are in education and health departments due to short¬age of qualified people from the local zones. There are also violations from zone 6 to zone 5 and vice versa which are part of Telangana area.
7. However, the data received from the State Government shows that the combined amount released to government and aided colleges together is Rs. 930 million in Telangana while it is 2.24 billion in coastal Andhra (with college¬going population similar to that in Telangana) and 910 million in Rayalaseema (with popula¬tion share being less than half that in Telangana).
8. The real income of the agricultural wage labourers has declined considerably in Telangana whereas it has increased considerably in coastal Andhra region. Similarly, the SCs, STs and minorities in Telangana region have suffered a decline in income during the past about decade or more whereas these communities have gained substantially in Coastal Andhra.
9. Although as a sub-regional movement, the Telangana movement does not pose a threat to national unity.
10. The Telangana movement can be interpreted as a desire for greater democracy and empower¬ment within a political unit. As stated earlier, sub-regionalism is a movement, which is not necessarily primordial but is essentially mod¬ern – in the direction of a balanced and equi¬table modernisation. Our analysis shows that cutting across caste, religion, gender and other divisions, the Telangana movement brings a focus on the development of the region as a whole, a focus on rights and access to regional resources and, further, it pitches for a rights- based development perspective whereby groups and communities put forth their agendas with¬in a larger vision of equitable development.
11. “However, given the long-standing history of the demand for a separate State, the deep penetra¬tion of the sense of grievance and the wide¬spread emotion around the issue, unless gen¬uine steps are taken to address both real and perceived disparities, the demand is unlikely to go away permanently even if it is subdued temporarily.
12. Thus, from the point of view of sheer size of economy, Telangana as a new State can sustain itself both with and without Hyderabad. The other combination of regions – coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema together can also sustain themselves as a State; in fact, they can also sustain themselves separately.
13. In view of the complex background of the situa-tion and the rather serious and sensitive emo¬tional aspects involved, the Committee is of the unanimous view that it would not be practical to simply maintain the status quo in respect of the situation.
14- Given the above first hand observations of the Committee during its tours of the regions, the Committee feels that the issue of sentiment has to be considered only as one among several factors to be evaluated. While not discounting peo¬ple’s wishes or sentiments, the overall implications of bifurcation (or trifurcation as the case may be) have to be carefully delineated to arrive at a responsible recommendation.
10 The Committee is of the view that given the long history of the demand for a separate Telangana, the highly charged emotions at pres¬ent and the likelihood of the agitation continuing in case the demand is not met (unless handled deftly, tactfully and firmly, consideration has to be given to this option. The grievances of the people of Telangana, such as non-implementation of some of the key decisions included in the Gentlemen Agreement (1956), certain amount of neglect in implementation of water and irrigation schemes, inadequate provision for education infrastructure (excluding Hyderabad), and the undue delay in the implementation of the Presidential order on public employment, etc., have contributed to the felt psyche of discrimination and domination, with the issue attaining an emotional pitch. The continuing demand, therefore, for a separate Telangana, the Committee felt, has some merit and is not entirely unjustified.Therefore, after taking into account all the pros and cons, the Committee did not think it to be the most preferred, but the second best, option. Separation is recommended only in case it is unavoidable and if this decision can be reached amicably amongst all the three regions.
The delay in the formation of Telangana will create Political crisis and the Maoist movement is likely to get a fill up in such a situation.
Telangana leaders rejected the recommendations of the Sri Krishna committee report and insist¬ed on the formation of a different Telangana State with Hyderabad as its capital.
Criticism of the Sri Krishna Committee report includes that it compared regions (Seema-Andhra vs
Telangana), not people (Seema-Andhrites vs Telanganites). The State government did not or could not provide all the data the committee asked for; they had only 10 years worth of data.
The Telangana JAC steering committee, com-prising experts from different fields, studied the Sri Krishana Committee report and came to the conclu-sion that the report was a ” bunch of lies, while pro-ponents of the United State Movement, including Samaikhya Andhra JAC and the Praja Rajyam party welcomed the recommendations of the committee.
Economist and former Planning Commission member CH. Hanumantha Rao said that the Srikrishna Committee’s recommendations are at variance with its own analysis. He said the commit¬tee did not study the reasons for the failures of earlier protections, and how future protections will do justice to Telangana. He said that even while the committee’s own analysis and data supports the formation of an independent Telangana, it only recom-mended this as the second-best option.
Protests in Telangana continue in the form of strikes, hunger strikes, suicides, giving petitions and roses to public officials, and the boycotting of public events.
The state government’s RacchaBanda program (which promises social benefits for everyone) in Telangana has been obstructed by protesters and had to be conducted by using the police, who used preventative arrests and other measures. In some areas, the programme had to be cancelled due to uncontrollable protests. Telangana proponents boy-cotted this program, saying it was intended to dilute the pro-Telangana agitation.
Journalist Kuideep Nayar said that if the state is divided, development will take a back seat. He remarked that Andhra Pradesh could achieve rapid economic growth only if it remains united.
8th Chapter of the Report
In January, a petition was filed pleading to declare the Committee Report as ‘invalid’ since it did not make public the contents of the eighth chapter of its report, which deals with the law and order situa-tion. The Attorney General of India arguing the case said that the Report was only a committee submitting its advice and the Union government was not obliged to act on its recommendation. The central
government submitted that the contents would not be made public since it was a privileged document under Sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872. On 17 February, the justice hearing this case said “It is unfortunate that this report and its related exercise was presided over by a former judge of the Supreme Court… this committee has. spent Rs 400 million of public money for preparing its report. Any person with a semblance of faith in the system of democracy would lose faith in it. The report pre¬pared by the front office of an MP would have been more sensible than this report. Even the high com¬mand of a political party would have hesitated to prepare such a report. On 23 March, Justice L.Narasimha Reddy of Andhra Pradesh high court ordered central govern¬ment to make public the contents of 8th chapter of Sri Krishna Committee, which was submitted in a sealed secret cover to the centre. Justice Reddy in his 60 page judgement said “The Committee went beyond the terms of reference in its endeavour to persuade the Union of India not to accede to the demand for Telangana”. The Committee’s secret report as quoted in peras 68-72, argued against Telangana state while discussing communal vio¬lence, Maoist violence and social tensions. The sup¬plementary note to secret report has three parts, ..
“a) Political management: Action also needs to be initiated for softening the TRS to the extent possible .. Inputs indicate that this agitation can be tackled if Congress leaders do not give an impres¬sion indicating any covert / overt support to it. Hence the Congress MPs / MLAs need to be taken into confidence and asked not to lend any form of support to the agitation. The Congress High Command must sensitise its own MPs and MLAs and educate them about the wisdom for arriving at an acceptable and workable solution. With the ruling party and main opposition party (for Telangana demand) being brought on the same page, the sup¬port mechanisms have a higher probability of becoming successful.”(pera 75)
“b) Media Management: Andhra Pradesh has got about 13 Electronic Channels and 5 major local Newspapers which are in the forefront of moulding the public opinion. Except for two Channels (Raj News & hmtv), the rest of them are supporters of a united Andhra Pradesh. The equity holders of the channels except the above two and the entire Print Media are with the Seemandhra people. The main editors/resident and sub-editors, the Film world etc. are dominated by Seemandhra people. A coordinated action on their part has the potential of shaping the perception of the common man. ..In the Print Media all major Newspapers are owned by Seemandhra people and the Regional contents published by them play a vital role.The editorial opin¬ions, the banner headlines, the Regional content, the District editions need to be managed ..” (pera 80). “The print media is hugely dependent on the Government for advertisement revenue and if carefully handled can be an effective tool to achieve this goal”.
c) Full preparedness: As under each of the options there is a high possibility of agitational back-lash, not withstanding the actions taken in advance as suggested in (a) and (b) above, an appropriate plan of deployment grid of police force (both Central and State) with full technical support needs to be immedi-ately drawn up. ..The likely troubled spots (e.g. Osmania, Kakatiya, Krishna Devaraya Universities etc.) and the trouble creators in the three regions must be identified in advance and suitable action plan prepared. In my discussions with Chief Secretary and DGP, the kind of equipment and weaponry to be used were also discussed and it was agreed that weaponry used should be such as not to cause fatal injuries, while at the same time effective enough to bring the agitationists quickly under control.
Justice said (in pera 96; “If the committee has suggested use of arsenal of lesser degree, it is not because there is any pity or sympathy towards the agitators. Obviously, it is to avoid the wrath of the human rights agencies”. The justice further saidfin pera 103) “The maneuver suggested by the Committee in its supplementary note poses an open challenge, if not threat, to the very system of democracy. If the source of inputs that gave rise to this is the Government, it (the Government) owes an explana¬tion to the citizens. If, on the other hand, the origin of inputs is elsewhere, the Government must move in the right earnest to pluck and eradicate such foul source and thereby prove its respect for, and confidence in the democracy. ‘Telangana JAC and Telangana leaders from all political parties demanded prosecution of Sri Krishna Committee members.
On 26 April, a division bench comprising the Chief Justice of the AP high court has stayed the order of Justice L.Narasimha Reddy who had directed the Centre to make public the secret.
Non Cooperation and Million March
The Telangana JAC declared a movement of non cooperation throughout Telangana including Hyderabad, from 17th February. The JAC asked the government employees not to work; people not to pay taxes or utility bills; people not to buy tickets while using public transport; to organise rallies; to block traffic on highways; and other measures. It is reported that Congress party’s central leadership told Telangana MPs that it will take a decision on Telangana after assembly elections in several states in May. On 24 February, Telangana political JAC organ-ised Egypt-like mass protests in Hyderabad beginning 10 March. Projections for number of people to be mobilised varied from one to five million .Protesters raised slogans of ‘Jai Telangana’, sang pro-Telangana songs, and played games. Protesters included activists of various political parties, students, government employees, lawyers, doctors, teachers, journalists, writers and cultural artists. 48 people were arrested for the vandalism of the statues. A Telangana leader said the incident show the hatred towards leaders of Andhra and he fears more such incidents if the central government further delays the process to carve out separate Telangana state. Osmania University students warned non- Telangana staff of the university to not pass on the identities of agitators to the police and warned them they could become targets if they did not join the agitation.
Protests in Assembly
Legislative Assembly proceedings were disrupted by Telangana legislators on the first day of the budget session, as the Governor’s address to the assembly did not include the Telangana issue. 22 MLAs and six MLCs from Congress boycotted the first day of the Assembly session. Telangana proponents have criticised the alleged anti-Telangana behaviour of Governor E. S. L. Narasimhan. TRS MLAs had heated arguments and gheraoed Lok Satta MLA Jayaprakash Narayan who had con¬demned the attack on the governor. One of them, K.Vidhyasagar Rao assaulted him first, followed by blows by the driver of another TRS MLA E. Rajender who justified the attack. TRS leaders later denied and attacked him but questioned his respect for Telangana sentiments. On 18 February five MLAs were suspended for unruly behaviour and for manhandling the governor. Deputy Speaker N. Manohar Rao termed this as shameful for democracy.
Incidents of violence
In the first two days of the non-cooperation movement, the government lost 15 billion in rev¬enue. On 19 February, Telangana protesters burnt down five buses and set fire to police tents in and around the Osmania University campus.
On 21 February a march of Telangana students and lawyers to Assembly turned violent when they were blocked by security forces. The police commissioner warned television channels against telecast¬ing violence. Telangana cable operators blocked out TV news channels owned by Seema-Andhra indus¬trialists citing their alleged ‘anti-Telangana’ stand. TRS leaders and activists attacked AP Transco billing counters in Karimnagar town and pulled down tent of CPI(M) activists who were protesting on civic issues at the municipal office in Warangal.
On 22 February, at Ellapur railway station in Hasanpet mandal, trains were stranded for an hour after pro-Telangana agitators removed hook locks from the rail tracks. Pro-Telangana activists halted the Delhi-bound AP Express at Khazipet railway station for 15 minutes on the same day. Before the train reached Khazipet, a few students rained stones on the AP Express at Ellapur in Hasanpet mandal. As many as 114 cases were booked under Section 151 of the CrPc and 1,978 persons were taken into cus¬tody. Pro-Telangana students and lawyers ransacked the MMTS station on Necklace road and the reser¬vation office was set afire. A car showroom was ran¬sacked at Habsiguda and an attempt was made to burn a train at Jamia Osmania station.
On 21 February students hurled stones at the security personnel at Adikmet and Nizam Collage hostel at Basheerbagh area, forcing the police to use tear gas shells to disperse them. Policemen reported that Osmania University students protesting for Telangana have used petrol bombs to target police
personnel on duty at the campus. Suicides continue to be a form of protests by Telanganistes, despite appeals by various leaders, parties, and organiza¬tions to stop.
On 23 February pro-Telangana protesters set one bhogie of the Khazipet-Manguru passenger on fire near Kesamudram railway station in Karimnagar district. Three buses of a private engineering college parked near Habsiguda were set ablaze by suspected Telangana activists on 24 February.
On 1 March a train blockade by pro-Telangana protesters, with a theme of “villages on railway tracks”, paralysed train services throughout Telangana. Protectors cooked and played sports on roads; and students held essay competitions on the railway tracks.
On 2nd March, Pro-Telangana activists disrupt¬ed a film shooting by burning down the set.
Telangana political JAC chairman Professor Kodandaram alleged that police from Seema- Andhra region were very brutal towards Telangana students. The refusal of the police to allow students to organise rallies provoked pitched battles between police and students, and arrests of students, which led to more protests. Police behaviour was criticised by human rights activists and by the High court.
Protests in Parliament
Telangana parliament members belonging to the ruling party protested in Parliament on 22 February for Telangana not being mentioned in the government agenda. They threatened to immolate themselves on Parliament premises if Telangana state is not created. On 23 February, proceedings in Lok Sabha were paralysed when opposition parties joined Telangana MPs in protests.
Sushma Swaraj, leader of the opposition in Parliament (Lok Sabha) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, said “it was rare that eleven members from the ruling Congress wanted a discus¬sion and they were being silenced. The Telangana issue can be resolved immediately if the Prime Minister simply announces in the House that a Bill supporting the creation of Telangana would be brought in this session itself. I promise you that our party, BJP and our allies will support such bill.” Asaduddin Owaisi, president of All India
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party, remarked that his party will not allow or want Hyderabad to be made a Union Territory. He said that if Telangana is created, then Hyderabad has to be a part of it.
The police department is one of the departments which is not participating the non-coopera¬tion movement. Employees of the office of the Medak district police superintendent joined the movement. The state police chief clarified that the protesting employees were office staff, not policemen. There are reports that policemen are contemplating joining the agitation. BJP, CPI, and MIM legislators remained in the house. On 3 March Parliament proceedings were disrupted whole day due to protests by Telangana MPs with the support of BJP members Police issued prohibitory orders to prevent gatherings and set up check-posts at the district borders of Hyderabad, as no permission had been granted for the march. Police took a large number of activists into preventive custody including the Osmania University JAC president and put up barricades in all nine Telangana districts and on the outskirts of Hyderabad to prevent activists joining the protest. TJAC chairman M. Kodandaram alleged that police arrested 100,000 people including 11,000 in Hyderabad; he asked, “People can protest in Egypt and Tunisia but not in Hyderabad?” He said the march needed no permission as it would be peaceful.
Day of the Demonstration
On the day of the march, over 12,000 personnel from police and central paramilitary forces were deployed in the city. Traffic was diverted by police and no one, was allowed to areas close to Tank Bund, the secretariat, Raj Bhavan, and the assembly. Students clashed with police when they were locked inside the Osmania University to prevent them from taking out a rally to Tank Bund. Police fired teargas shells to control the students. Several pro-Telangana leaders, including 50 MLAs belonging to the BJP, CPI, Muslim League, TRS, TDP, and Jamat-e-Islami parties and JAC convener Kodandaram, were arrested as soon as they started their rally. The police arrested people coming to Tank Bund area until 1 pm. After 1 pm the activists started reaching Tank Bund in groups from different directions and outnumbered the police. The protectors uprooted barricades put up on both ends of the road, and by 3 pm thousands of protectors were gathered. Telangana agitators pretended to perform ‘mar¬riages’ in the Arya Samaj building to slip into the Lower Tank Bund. BJP leader and Doctor J Bapu Reddy, along with four of his followers, travelled in an ambulance from Nizamabad to Hyderabad through the checkpoints to attend the march by informing the police that a “seriously ill patient” was being taken to hospital in Hyderabad. Protectors raised slogans of ‘Jai Telangana1, sang pro- Telangana songs, and played games.
Telangana activists attacked pro-Telangana Congress MPs Madhu Yaskhi Goud and K. Keshava Rao by throwing slippers and water bottles citing their failure to resign in support of the agitation for separate statehood. While the police estimated 20,000 people participated in the march, the JAC estimate was 100,000. The BBC reported a turnout of 50,000. At around 3:15 pm a student of Osmania university attempted suicide by consuming poison . on Tank bund road, saying “Jai Telangana”. His sui¬cide letter said, “In spite of voting for them (public representatives), they could not succeed in achieving separate statehood for Telangana and my suicide is a reminder for them that people are willing to die for Telangana.”. But he survived from the attemt.
Later protesters demanded that the police release all the leaders they arrested and bring them to Tank bund. Several patients in critical condition were locked out of the emergency ward of the Gandhi hospital for over two hours from 2.30 pm, following a flash strike by the doctors demanding the release of their colleagues who had been arrest¬ed by the police. Around 4 pm, after KCR and Kodandaram arrived at Tank bund, all the partici¬pants in the rally vowed to fight for formation of Telangana state by saying a pledge.
Sakala Janula Samme
On 12 September, 2011, a day before Sakala Janula SammelAll people’s strike), TRS organised a public meeting in Karimnagar which was attended by over a million people including T-JAC leaders, BJP and New Democracy party leaders. Starting 13 September, as part of ‘strike by all section of people’ supporting Telangana statehood, government employees throughout Telangana stayed out of work, lawyers boycotted courts and 60,000 coal miners of Singareni Collieries(SCCL Ltd.) also joined the strike. On 14 and 15 September, nearly 450 movie Theaters in Telangana were closed at the call given by Telangana film chamber. Starting September 16, government teachers joined the strike. Private school managements declared one day holiday in support of the strike. On September 19, state road transport corporation employees and state electricity board employees in Telangana joined the indefinite strike.
On a call given by JAC, road blockades on national highways throughout Telangana, rail block¬ade and the strike of auto rikshaw union were organised on 24 and 25 September causing disrup¬tion in transport services. Virtually all sections of people joined this strike.
On September 30, as the strike entered the 18th day, even while Congress central leadership met several Telangana congress leaders, JAC called a bundh in Hyderabad city. On October 2 , JAC leaders, employee unions leaders and TRS leaders including KCR met Prime minister to explain the situation in Telangana due to the strike and asked to expedite the decision on the statehood demand. The strike has resulted in an unprecedented power crisis in the state with only 223 MU of power generated against the demand of 275MU impacting both the industry and agriculture.
On October 9, some workers of the Youth Congress agitated and threw chairs at each other at the Gandhi Bhavan in Hyderabad demanding post-ponement of a membership drive till an official announcement on Telangana. They also demanded that a separate Telangana Youth Congress be formed for the youth from Telangana.
Meanwhile, worried parents of some children protested outside the college demanding that schools and colleges be excluded from the strikes and conflicts as the students have missed classes for a month already. The majority of colleges and schools remained shut in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
There is no need to continue the strike as their opinion over Telangana is received already by Congress high command and the Centre.
After being criticised by both the Congress high command as well as the Centre over how he has been handling the issue, CM N. Kiran Kumar Reddy said that his government would adopt a zero-tolerance system and will initiate stern action against anyone trying to create law and order problem or cause any inconvenience to the people. He cautioned them saying that the stir is spoiling the prospects of the youth. After 22 days of strike, the APSRTC resumed plying buses after one of the unions sus¬pended the strike. Telangana union leaders con¬demned the decision and said that a union leader belonging to Seema Andhra region had no right to withdraw the strike.This led to split in the union and Telangana union leaders floated a separate body and decided to continue the strike. Due to this, only few buses returned to service.On 13 October, the parents of most school-going children asked the TJAC to call off the strike for the schools and col¬leges by October 15 to save their studies.
Eight Congress MPs from Telangana, who resigned in July demanding a separate state of Telangana, insisted the speaker to accept their res-ignations on 12 October. They also demanded that the Group-II exams, screening test for thousands of state government jobs, be postponed until the strike is over.
Sakala Janula Samme launched by the T-JAC has already entered the 30th day. People of Telangana are facing several hardships due to the strike. Many Telangana youths have sacrificed their lives for the cause of Telangana. Despite all this, the Congress high command is unwilling to spell out its stand on the issue.
Meanwhile Medak’s MP Vijayashanti criticised the Congress high command for the delay in making the decision on Telangana and said Congress wants the issue to prolong until 2014. She further said the strike should continue until the formation of Telangana state.
On 17 October, Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, who resigned from assembly and from TDP to join TRS, was re-elected to assembly. He got about 68% of polled votes while his opponent from congress got 27% votes. TDP did not field a candidate. After his victory in Banswada bypoll, which was far lesser margin than he anticipated, he warned Andhra settlers in the region with dire consequences for not voting for him. He had hoped for one lakh majority in the byelection in view of the ongoing high voltage Telangana movement.
Efforts to end Strike
With the agitation for statehood to Telangana intensifying, the congress has decided to speed up all the discussions and quickly solve the problem. On 30 September, 2011 Gulam Nabi Azad, Congress party’s AP state in-charge, submitted to Congress president an internal party report about Telangana issue after holding consultations with leaders from Telangana, Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions for over two months. ‘On 8 October, Azad said that the key leaders of the Congress and the centre have met nine leaders from Andhra Pradesh including the chief minister and are working on finding a solution to the issue as soon as possible. PM Manmohan Singh indicated that resolving the Telangana statehood issue might “take some time.” Maintaining that there has not been any “inaction” by the government over the crisis, the Prime Minister said that “given the complications involved in settlement, it will take some time.” Dr Singh said that the government “is engaged in widespread dialogue and discussions with all the stakeholders and hopes to reach a win-win situation for all concerned through the process.
After 42 days, on 24 October, government employees unions called off the strike. Kodandaram said that the strike had impacted the overall thinking of the Centre towards creation of separate State and the movement will continue with other protest activities.
In May 2013, the T-JAC gave a call to lay siege to the state legislative Assembly in Hyderabad on 14 June, 2013 to demand the formation of Telangana. Government refused permission to the march as they had information that anti-social elements might participate in the event and cause violence like in previous events of Sagara Haram and Million March where violence erupted despite promises made by the T-JAC. Police made preventive arrests of activists through the region which led do stalling of the assembly proceedings by opposition parties. The chief minister directed the Director-General of Police at a high-level review meeting not to use even rubber bullets in their efforts and observe utmost restraint in maintaining law and order. Amid fear of violence by Naxalites after an open letter claimed to have been written by them on the rally, police sounded a high alert across the state and almost sealed all the arterial roads leading to the Assembly. Over 25,000 policemen belonging to both central and state security forces were deployed. The TJAC leaders alleged that the government used repressive measures to prevent them from representing the aspirations of Telangana people in a peaceful manner. Educational institutions declared a holiday and public transport went off the roads and shops and establishments shut as a precautionary measure.
On the day of the event in spite of the restrictions placed, police could not totally prevent Telangana activists from sneaking into prime locations and making a vain bid to rush towards the Assembly.
Hundreds of people including state legislators, JAC Chairman and other leaders were arrested across the city. Osmania University campus witnessed pitched battles as police closed the campus gate to stop students leaving campus in a rally then resorted to tear gas shelling when students started stone pelting. After the march, the T-JAC Chairman remarked that their goal to reach Assembly complex and highlight their demand was fulfiled.
According to an internal survey reportedly done for the state government, the Congress party will get around 35-40 seats out of 294 MLA seats in the state, with TRS ahead in Telangana region while YSRCP in the Seema-Andhra region. This survey was reportedly being considered to arrive at a decision on the statehood issue.
One lakh support
On June 30, Congress leaders belonging to Telangana region organised a public meeting in Hyderabad with a turn out of over 100,000 to show their support to Telangana state. It was attended by Damodara Raja Narasimha, Deputy Chief minister of the state, central ministers, state ministers, MPs and MLAs who expressed the confidence that their party leadership would create the separate state soon and said that Congress would perform well in next elections in such a situation.
Final stage of decision
On July 1, Congress party’s in-charge of the state, Digvijay Singh said that their party is at the final stages of taking decision on Telangana issue. He also directed state chief minister, deputy chief minister and state party president (they represent assembly constituencies in Rayalaseema, Telangana and Coastal Andhra regions respectively) to furnish a roadmap, keeping both options open, that could help lead to a decision. On July 11 the three leaders presented their views in the Congress core committee meeting, post which it was announced that a decision will be taken by the Congress Working Committee.
The Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy met several MPs, MLAs and MLCs on 29 July in a bid to resolve the issue being taken up by the central Congress government.