TRS, BJP not to attend meet on Telangana
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Last Updated: Monday, January 03, 2011, 09:33
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 here.

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 formed.

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.


First Published: Monday, January 03, 2011, 09:33

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