Anti-Telangana stir: We are not protesting for the sake of politics, says Jaganmohan Reddy
Stepping up his protest against the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh by carving out a Telangana state, YSR Congress party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy launched an indefinite fast.
Zee Media Bureau/Kamna Arora and Sushmita Dutta
10:30 pm: Seemandhra electricity employees on strike from Sunday
The electricity employees of Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions of Andhra Pradesh will go on indefinite strike from Sunday to protest the central government`s decision to carve out separate Telangana state.
Over 30,000 electricity employees in Seemandhra, as Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions are collectively known, are likely to join the strike called by Seemandhra electricity employees Joint Action Committee (JAC).
9:30 pm: We want Andhra Pradesh to be united: Jaganmohan Reddy
Jaganmohan Reddy, who began an indefinite fast on Saturday to protest against the Centre`s decision to create a separate Telangana, said the main motive behind his agitation is to have a united Andhra Pradesh.
"We are doing it for a cause. The cause is to have the state united. If the state is bifurcated, we will not even have drinking water. This is a reality," he said in an interview to a TV news channel.
He added, "We are not protesting for the sake of politics."
8:45 pm: Hyderbad national city, not property of any region: Jaipal Reddy
Looking to allay apprehensions over the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy has suggested that an agreement could be signed between the people of Seemandhra and the Telangana regions to address all contentious issues.
"The agreement could be on the lines of the `Gentlemen`s Agreement` signed in 1956 during the amalgamation of the erstwhile Hyderabad state with Andhra," said Reddy, the Union Science and Technology Minister.
He added, "Constitutionally, Hyderabad is an Indian city. Like Bengaluru and Chennai, it has now become an international city, if we look at the business angle. For centuries, people from all parts of the country have been staying in Hyderabad."
"Hyderabad does not belong to either Telangana or to Seemandhra. It`s certainly not Telangana`s own property. All Indians constitutionally have an equal right over Hyderabad," he said.
7:19 pm: MM Pallam Raju meets UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi
One of the opponents of the Andhra Pradesh bufircation, minister of human resource development MM Pallam Raju who had resigned yesterday to protest against the decision met the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi today who advised him `not to act in haste`.
This is his second meeting with her in two days after being unhappy over the Centre`s decision to create Telangana and his decision to quit as HRD minister.
The meeting triggered speculation whether the party was trying to persuade him and other ministers from Seemandhra region not to press their resignation.
When he talked to reporters immediately after meeting Sonia Gandhi, Raju gave no indication of what he plans to do.
"Yesterday, I had decided to resign. So I went to meet her and requested her that I would like to resign from the post of minister but she gave me the same advice that was given by the Prime Minister that I should not act in haste and that I should try and find a resolution to the numerous issues by working with the GoM and with other leaders from all over Andhra Pradesh", he said.
5:00 pm: Anti-Telangana protests intensifies
The bandh against the bifurcation entered second day in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) and other united-AP supporters have called for a 48-hour bandh, while YSRCP has called for a 72-hour shut-down in the non-Telangana regions.
Educational institutions and commercial establishments remained closed in the region.
Dwaraka Tirumala Rao, Inspector General (Coastal Andhra), said police had deployed additional forces in view of attacks on Congress offices and residences and properties of some Congress leaders, including state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana, yesterday.
"Situation is under control. As long as agitations are peaceful we have no objection. But if they turn violent then we will swing into action and file cases," Rao told.
The pro-united Andhra employees, including the staff of state-run Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), are already on strike since mid-August. The pilgrim town of Tirupati wore a deserted look as APSRTC buses are not plying in the area.
3:30 pm: Jagan keeping up pressure at the Centre
Jaganmohan Reddy, who recently got bail in a corruption case, lashed out at the "unilateral manner" in which the Union Cabinet had decided on October 3 to carve out the state of Telangana.
"We will challenge the Centre`s decision in the Supreme Court," he said, adding that there were "legal problems" with the proposed division.
"We are opposing the unilateral manner in which the Centre is functioning. How can it go ahead with the bifurcation process without a resolution in the state Assembly? We have never heard of an instance of state bifurcation without a resolution in the Assembly," Jagan said.
3:00 pm: Race for Telangana Chief Minister’s post hots up
With the Cabinet nod for Telangana, there are more than half-a-dozen contenders for the Telangana state Chief Minister’s post.
The jubilant Telangana Congress leaders now expect formation of T state by December as Central Congress leadership is keen to get the Telangana Bill passed during this Winter Session.
Several big names are doing the rounds in Telangana Congress circles, including that of Union minister S Jaipal Reddy who has an honest and clean image and amicable nature apart from seniority in politics.
Panchayat Raj minister K Jana Reddy, housing minister N Uttamkumar Reddy and information minister DK Aruna are the other contenders from the same community. Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Raja Narasimha is also an important contender for the post.
Among the other names being discussed are former PCC president D Srinivas and IT minister Ponnala Laxmaiah who hails from a backward community, and civil supplies minister D Sridhar Babu, a Brahmin.
2:40 pm: `Want Modi to change BJP`
Urging parties to go against the Andhra Pradesh bifurcation, Reddy asks how can the Centre decide to divide the state without an Assembly resolution.
To make Rahul the PM, Sonia Gandhi is going about it in the most wrong, undemocratic way, Reddy tells a news channel.
Urging Narendra Modi to change the BJP, Reddy says this generation wants peace and development. He advises the BJP to reach out to Muslims and be secular. "I want every party to be secular. I want BJP to change. I want Modi to change BJP."
1:25 pm: Reddy`s fast suprises Digvijay Singh
On microblogging website Twitter, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh tweeted: "Surprised with the turn around of Chandra Babu and Jagan. Both had given support to Telengana in writing. Amazing Political Opportunism!"
12:45 pm: Reddy to move SC
Talking to reporters, Reddy says he will challenge the Cabinet`s decision in the Supreme Court."If Ordinance can be withdrawn, why not Telangana decision?" Jaganmohan Reddy further asked why is no one talking about Bodoland, Gorkhaland or Vidharba?
Commenting on reports that his political foe, Chandrababu Naidu, is also likely to launch an indefinite fast from Monday, Reddy said the Telugu Desam Party chief should write a letter to the Centre first, mentioning he is for a united Andhra Pradesh. The leader further did not rule out a possible alliance with the BJP if its party leaders from the state support the House resolution against Telangana in the state Assembly.
11:40 am: Security tightened
The police have made elaborate security arrangements in view of threats by pro-Telangana groups to disrupt Reddy`s fast.
11:36 pm: Jaganmohan Reddy begins fast
YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy launches his fast-unto-death against the Centre`s decision to bifurcate the State. He is delayed by almost an hour and half, Reddy was surrounded by supporters. Several party leaders and activists are also sitting on fast with him.
11:30 am: Jaganmohan Reddy reaches venue
Stepping up his protest against the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh by carving out a Telangana state, YSR Congress party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy is all set to launch an indefinite fast. Reddy has reached the venue - the YSR Congress office at Lotus Pond in Jubilee Hills, right close to his house - from where he will begin his indefinite fast.
11:05 pm: Seemandhra bandh enters Day 2; normal life hit
Normal life remained crippled for the second day today in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions where a bandh is being observed to protest the Centre`s decision to bifurcate the State.
Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) and other united-AP supporters have given a 48-hour bandh call, while Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress has called for 72-hour shutdown in the non-Telangana regions. Both protests began last morning.
Educational and commercial establishments remained closed in Seemandhra (coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema), where normal life was thrown out of gear.
Dwaraka Tirumala Rao, IG (Coastal Andhra) said, they have deployed additional forces keeping in view attacks on residences and properties of some Congress leaders yesterday.
Sporadic incidents of violence, including attack on public and private property, were reported on the first day of the shutdown. Offices of ruling Congress came under attack from agitators in several districts.
Commercial and educational establishments belonging to PCC president Botsa Satyanarayana were also targeted and police have stepped up security at these locations and also in sensitive areas.
10:00 am: Huge turnout expected
A massive turnout from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra Pradesh is expected in the USR Congress rally.
8:00 am: Jaganmohan Reddy to begin indefinite fast
YSR Congress party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy will on Saturday launch an indefinite fast here to protest against the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh by carving out a Telangana state.
The 40-year-old leader is expecting a huge turnout from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Reports claim Reddy`s fast will continue till October 18, when he is planning a huge public rally in Hyderabad.
Accusing the Congress of dividing the state to earn votes in elections, the MP from Kadapa urged the country and all political parties to stand up against this "injustice". The central government will start dividing other states too in a similar "arbitrary" manner, Reddy said on Friday.
He also criticised the central government for going ahead with Andhra Pradesh`s division even without a resolution in the Assembly.
Reddy, who was released last week from jail after 16 months in a corruption case, said the state`s division would lead to sever water scarcity in Seemandhra.