Cong MP begins hunger strike for Andhra unity

Congress MP L Rajagopal has begun a indefinite hunger strike to oppose division of AP.

Vijayawada: Congress MP L Rajagopal, who
had threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike to oppose
division of Andhra Pradesh, on Tuesday began his fast here.

"I wanted to undertake the fast in Hyderabad yesterday
but I was not allowed to do so, I am continuing my fast here,"
Rajagopal told reporters here.

Asserting that the majority of the people do not want
division of Andhra Pradesh, he demanded the Centre make a
statement that the state would not be bifurcated.

"A resolution should be introduced in the Assembly
for Telangana. It should have been done yesterday. About 225
of the 294 MLAs are opposed to Telangana. The resolution is
bound to lose and things would have been clear," the
Vijayawada MP said.

Hailing late Chief ministers N T Rama and Y S
Rajasekhara Reddy for keeping Telugu-speaking people united,
Rajgopal demanded that TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and
actor-turned-politician Chiranjeevi end their support for

Rajgopal was shifted to Vijayawada from Hyderabad amid
high drama last night.

He was detained in the evening after he staged a
sit-in along with 15 Congress MLAs and Praja Rajayam Party
(PRP) MLAs at Lalbahdur Stadium.

He was taken to Falkunama police station late last
night but some TRS and BJP activists stated a protest outside
the police station. Subsequently he was taken to Vijayawada.

Praising the leadership of Rajagopal, the Joint Action
Committee (JAC) formed for spearheading the agitation for
united Andhra Pradesh announced that they will lay siege to
the national highway in Vijayawada today.

Meanwhile, the fast-unto-death launched by TDP MLAs
D Umameshwara Rao and others in Vijayawada in support of an
united state entered the third day. Rao demanded that Lok
Sabha members resign from their posts to mount pressure on
the Centre.

Also, protests and bandhs continued across coastal
Andhra and Rayalaseema regions against the division of
the state.

Agitators planned programmes to hail the sacrifice
made by Potti Sriramulu, in view of his death anniversary
today. Sriramulu died while holding a fast-unto-death for the
formation of a state for Telugu speaking people.

Rallies, relay hunger strikes and other forms of
protests and demonstrations are being held in all districts of
the non-Telangana regions opposing bifurcation of the state.