Cong MPs go on fast over Telangana

Congress MPs from Telangana are pressing for the withdrawal of cases against students.

Hyderabad: Congress MPs from the
Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh Monday began a fast
demanding withdrawal of police cases registered against all
students and said they were not satisfied with the lifting of
only 600 "minor cases".

Eleven Congress MPs and 20 legislators started fasting
at Gunpark in front of the state Assembly, rejecting the
appeal made by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy last night,
asking the Parliamentarians not to undertake the proposed

"This is not a protest against our own government. The
students are not hardcore criminals. One year has passed since
we are making this demand. This is a self-infliction to bring
moral pressure on our government," Congress Rajya Sabha member
K Keshavrao said.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the withdrawal of
about 600 minor cases against the students, Keshavrao demanded
that all cases be withdrawn.

He denied that the MPs are indulging in "political
posturing" by undertaking a fast.

Keshavrao also demanded the withdrawal of the central
paramilitary forces deployed in Telangana.
When asked if their fast has the blessings of Sonia
Gandhi, another Congress MP Sarve Satyanarayana said, "We have
the blessings of Sonia Gandhi for every good thing."

On a query about their threat of resignations,
Keshavrao said they will tender resignation to Sonia Gandhi
for pursuing the demands for introduction of a bill in
Parliament for the formation of separate Telangana.

Meanwhile, Telangana JAC convenor M Kondandaram
visited the MPs to express solidarity.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had last year
announced that police cases against the students would be
withdrawn in due course of time.

Political leaders from Telangana and other separate
statehood supporters demand that the government should
withdraw the cases as announced by the Home Minister.

During the just-concluded session of the Assembly, the
state government had announced withdrawal of only minor cases
against the students.
The MPs later shifted from Gunpark to new MLA
quarters, after police asked them to vacate the place.
Earlier, state ministers K Jana Reddy, B Saraiah and
several others senior Congress leaders called on the
protesting MPs to express their solidarity.