TRS, BJP not to attend meet on Telangana

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday to discuss the Srikrishna Committee report.

Hyderabad: In a setback to the Centre`s consultation process, the TRS and the BJP have decided not to attend the January 6 meeting in New Delhi to discuss the Justice Srikrishna Committee report on Telangana.

Announcing its decision, the TRS Sunday said, "It was a deliberate attempt to seek divergent opinions on the issue."

Echoing similar feelings, the BJP also said it will not participate in the meeting called by Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday.

"Home Minister P Chidambaram should have invited one representative from a political party and asked for a single
opinion from them. But calling two representatives from each
party appears to be a deliberate attempt to seek divergent
views," TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao told a press conference

Parties like Congress and TDP are expected to send one
representative each from Telangana and non-Telangana areas.

He said the party has decided not to attend the
meeting after consultations with party leaders and politburo
members and that it is an unanimous view.

"We are not going to attend the meeting because it
will be a mockery. That is what happened when the Centre
called a meeting on January 5, 2010. There were divergent
opinion," he said.

Rao said inviting two members from each party was not
a good thing on the part of Chidambaram.

"The Home Minister should have used the one-year
period to execute the promise of creating a separate Telangana state," he said.

"But now the meeting looks like an attempt to say no
consensus is possible because of the likelihood of emergence
of convergent opinions," he said.

Chidambaram had called a meeting of political parties
to discuss the Srikrishna Committee report, which was
submitted to him on Thursday, before making it public.

The TRS chief said the party has been demanding a
separate Telangana state to uphold the "self-respect" of the
people of the region.

"We want Telangana. Our one and only demand is please
place a bill before Parliament for formation of Telangana in
the budget session," he said.

State BJP president G Kishan Reddy said the party has
decided in consultation with the central leadership not to
attend the meet as convening a meeting of political parties
which are deeply divided on the issue of separate statehood of
Telangana, is an exercise in futility.

"The meeting was called to merely discuss the report
of the Srikrishna Committee which the BJP does not recognise
and has always opposed it," Reddy said, adding that the only
way to solve the problem was to commence the constitutional
process for bifurcation of the state.

Rao said divergent views at the meeting will lead to
"further contradiction and confusion."

The TRS chief, whose fast-unto-death led the Centre to
announce that it would take steps for the formation of a
separate Telangana state, said he had every reason to
apprehend that the government is "subtly aiming at that (to
generate divergent views)".

"If the Government of India is really serious about
knowing the official stand of the parties in all fairness and
propriety only one member from each party should be invited,"
he said.

"If that cannot be done the meeting will become
a futile exercise," he said.

When said that that his decision to boycott the
meeting could attract criticism that he is derailing the
democratic process, Rao said the Centre had already promised
to form separate Telangana and political parties had agreed to
support the demand.

"It is unethical for political parties to express
divergent views when they have already promised to support the separate Telangana demand. The Centre has already agreed to form separate Telangana," he said.

Pointing that his party was always in favour of a
separate Telangana state, Reddy said it had categorically made
its stand clear in the meeting called by the Home Minister
last year.

Later, speaking after releasing the dairy of Telangana
employees union, he stressed that political leaders from the
region, cutting across political lines, should unitedly
conduct the struggle for separate statehood.

"Political leaders have to be torch-bearers of the
movement. The entire Telangana is demanding separate state in
one voice. The government employees say that they are ready
for protests. The political leaders should now unite," the BJP
leader said.

He appreciated Congress MP G Sukhender Reddy who said
earlier that the party MPs would not hesitate to quit their
posts if such a situation arose.

Asserting that the Congress MPs and other party leaders
are fighting for separate Telangana sincerely, Sukhender Reddy
said the ruling party leaders would be ready to quit their
posts if they feel that the separate state is not going to be

Meanwhile, Rao asked people to participate in large
numbers in the agitation programmes called by the Telangana
Joint Action Committee (JAC).

M Kodandaram, Chairman of the JAC, said a massive protest
would be held on January 6 in Hyderabad.

Speaking at the meeting, Congress Rajya Sabha member K
Keshav Rao said all those fighting for separate Telangana
should unite. "If we are united, none can stop us".

He said he would not mind shunning the membership in the
Congress Working Committee (CWC) for the sake of Telangana.

Swamy Goud, a leader of Telangana non-gazetted officers
association, said the employees are ready to adopt protests
like indefinite strike, non-cooperation agitation for
Telangana statehood.

A massive public meeting of Telangana employees would be
held soon in Hyderabad, he said.


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