Telangana leaders hold protest in Delhi
IANS NEW DELHI TELANGANA leaders, including K Chandrasekhara Rao, held a protest at Rajghat on Sunday and said their campaign for a separate state would not end till they have achieved their goal. Rao said they are not going to “stop the movement”. “We’ve been requesting the Indian government to come forward and it is up to them to take a decision,” Rao told reporters at Rajghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi in central Delhi. “We are not going to stop this movement or strike till we achieve Telangana state,” the Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief (TRS) added. The TRS alongwith the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) are spearheading the demand for a separate state carved out from Andhra Pradesh. Several TJAC leaders were also present at the protest. The members joined the prayer meeting held at the memorial of Gandhi, before speaking to mediapersons. The Telangana leaders also plan to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, senior Congress leaders and opposition members to push their demand. Asked if the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had requested for more time to take a decision, Rao said: “Do they think we are ignorant? How long are they going to cheat us? What more discussion do they want? What way is our demand complicated?” Rao, who has been camping here since Friday, said the government had made a promise in the parliament. “What is the state of democracy? This will bring shame to the country.” On December 10, 2009, the government had assured both houses of parliament that Telangana state would be created out of Andhra Pradesh as the 29th state in India. Rao accused the government of trying to provoke them to adopt violent methods of protest. “From here (Rajghat), we want to give a message, we have been silent, democratic and non-violent all through and we will continue in the same way and would not be affected by the provocation,” he added. Asked how long the movement for a separate state would continue, the TRS leader said: “As long as the government of India keeps mum, this movement will continue.” The protest came even as senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said in Hyderabad that the issue would be settled soon. Azad, who is in charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, said consultations with the elected representatives of all three regions of Andhra Pradesh — Telangana, coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema — were completed but there is need for more consultations on the issue at the national level. He had presented a report on the demand for Telangana to the Congress core committee on Friday.