Centre bows to KCR, says yes to Telengana
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Last Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2009, 13:47
Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi/Hyderabad: Pushed to the corner by a fasting TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, the Centre last night favoured a resolution in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly for creation of a separate Telangana state in a bid to defuse the current volatile situation.

Centre’s approval for the division of Andhra Pradesh was given after two rounds of high level meetings of PM Manmohan Singh with key Congress leaders and central cabinet ministers. Union Home Minister P Chidambaram announced the government’s stand after the meet.

“The process of formation of Telangana is to be initiated. A resolution to this effect is to be moved in the Andhra Pradesh assembly,” he read out from the official statement.

He also said that the govt had asked Andhra CM K Rosaiah to withdraw all cases against students and workers who were associated with the Telangana agitation.

“We request Mr Rao to withdraw the fast for the withdrawal of the agitation,” he said, refusing to give any timeline for the formation of Telangana.

As news of Centre's green signal to Telangana reached Hyderabad, celebrations broke outside the hospital where Rao is being kept. He announced he would end the fast.

"I thank the central government for their decision. I hope a Telangana state is formed soon," he said as his family members made him drink a glass of fluid.

The PM and Congress President Sonia Gandhi held two rounds of discussions in the Congress Core Group on the TRS chief's fast-unto-death that entered 11th day yesterday and his health developed protein malfunction.

The Core Group of the Congress met here Wednesday night for the second time during the day to discuss the separate state demand of TRS.

After the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters, "I have called Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah for a meeting. We will decide after that."

The meeting, which was held in the Parliament House, was also attended by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and senior ministers A K Antony, Chidambaram, Law Minister Veerappa Moily and Congress leader Ahmed Patel.

"We would like to make an appeal to him (Rao) to withdraw his fast. The Government is seized of the matter," Moily told reporters after the meeting in Parliament House.

From the second meeting of the Core Group, Antony, Chidambaram and Moily drove straight to Gandhi's residence where Rosaiah was scheduled to meet here.

Meanwhile, 16 Congress MPs belonging to both the Houses of Parliament met the Prime Minister and demanded constitution of a separate Telangana state.

After the nearly one-hour long meeting at the Prime Minister's residence that was also attended by Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram, A K Antony and Veerappa Moily, the Chief Minister left straight to the airport to take a special aircraft back to Hyderabad.

Rao's health

The polit bureau of TRS and various organisations supporting the Telangana statehood cause had appealed to party president KCR to call off his fast in view of his deteriorating health.

"The doctors said a fungal infection has been detected. The matter is quite serious as fungal infections can get dangerous quickly. We are really worried. We are hoping for a solution soon," KCR's son and MLA K T Rama Rao told reporters.

KCR has started taking intravenous fluids and his condition has marginally improved, doctors attending on him said today.

"He (Rao) was refusing to take any intravenous fluids or any other medication. However at around 1 pm, he agreed to have intravenous fluids," the doctors of the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) said.

"He also agreed to undergo blood tests. The blood samples were drawn. Then IV line was established. Subsequently, intravenous fluids were administered to him... the initial blood reports indicate that the reports are near normal," they said.

"He took antibiotic dose in the afternoon and also agreed for starting saline," they said.

Earlier in the morning, the doctors said the TRS chief refused intravenous antibiotic and fluids. He also refused to let his blood samples be sent for laboratory tests then.

Andhra simmers

Meanwhile Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh was on the boil Wednesday as massive protests demanding separate statehood and the fast-unto-death by TRS president entered the 11th day. Doctors said Rao was in a serious condition.

Prohibitory orders under section 144 banning assembly of five or more people were clamped in Hyderabad and the other nine districts of the region as thousands of police and paramilitary forces were mobilised to foil a march to the state assembly planned by students and TRS activists in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Police arrested about 2,200 people across the region as street protests by thousands of TRS, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Communist Party of India (CPI) activists as well as students, employees, industrial workers, lawyers and others raged.

Three more people committed suicide in support of the demand for a separate state, taking the toll to 25 since TRS chief launched his fast.

In a sensational development, a police official resigned from her job to express her solidarity with the Telangana movement.

Nalini, the deputy superintendent of police in Medak district, said she could not obey orders from seniors to beat up "own people".

Police picked up several students during a crackdown on Osmania University here to foil the proposed "march to assembly" which has been renamed as "peace rally".

Anticipating a major law and order problem with "anti-social elements" reportedly penetrating the movement, the police have refused permission for the rally.

"We will not allow any rally as the gathering of people may create law and order problem," Inspector General of Police A.R. Anuradha told reporters.

Tension continued near the Osmania University last evening as police were stopping students from entering the campus.

A division bench of the high court asked the authorities to reopen the hostels. To prevent the entry of outsiders, it directed that the students be allowed only after verifying their identity.

The division bench, however, set aside the order of a single-judge bench quashing a government order for closure of all colleges and universities in the region till Dec 18.

Police have turned Hyderabad into a fortress with the deployment of about 15,000 personnel including those from the Central Reserve Police Force and anti-Maoist Greyhounds.

IANS inputs

First Published: Thursday, December 10, 2009, 13:47

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