Pressure mounts on Centre on Telangana demand

Pressure mounted on the Centre with Congress MPs and MLAs demanding a time-frame for creation of Telangana state as its protagonists enforced a bandh in the region.

Last Updated: Jul 06, 2011, 19:09 PM IST

New Delhi/Hyderabad: Pressure mounted on
the Centre with Congress MPs and MLAs demanding a time-frame
for creation of Telangana state as its protagonists enforced a
bandh in the region but the Centre pinned its hopes on the
consultation process for a solution.

Home Minister P Chidambaram also made it clear that
the Centre was not thinking of imposing President`s rule in
Andhra Pradesh, where the campaigners for a separate state are
planning to escalate protests on top of the two-day bandh that
concluded today in 10 districts of the state.

Representatives of Congress MPs and MLAs met Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee last night and urged that the Centre
and the party high command fix a "time frame" for the creation
of the new state.

"Give us a time frame. Be it six months, three months
or two months," said Congress MP from Telangana region K
Keshav Rao, who has resigned his Rajya Sabha membership.

Over 100 MLAs and 15 MPs belonging to various parties
have resigned membership of Assembly and Parliament in a bid
to pressure the Centre to take an early decision on their
demand.

However, Rao said the resignations were not a tool
to arm twist anyone but only fulfil the urge for a separate
state.

With speculation that the Centre would impose a spell
of President`s rule in the state, Chidambaram told a press
conference, "We are not thinking of President`s rule. We are
unhappy that so many MLAs and MPs have tendered their
resignation."

Chidambaram said they would engage with the MPs and
MLAs. Already Congress general secretary (Ghulam Nabi Azad)
in charge in the Congress party has met and discussed the
issues with them.

"We hope that the process of consultations will show
us the path to reach a conclusion," he said.

"The status as of today is consultation process is
still continuing. No decision has been taken yet," he said.

On law and order, Chidambaram said the Centre has
provided forces to the state but added he sincerely hoped that
there will not be a breakdown of law and order.

"I sincerely hope and appeal to everyone, while we
understand the provocation for an agitation, we sincerely hope
that even those who agitate will not lead to a breakdown
of law and order," he said.

Meanwhile, normal life was affected for the second day
today in the ten districts of Telangana region following a
48-hour shutdown call given by Telangana Political Joint
Action Committee for a separate statehood. This will be
followed by a rail roko on July 8 and 9.

Tension prevailed in Osmania University in Hyderabad
with pro-Telangana students clashing with police.

The CPI(M) blamed the Congress and the Centre for the
"deepening political crisis" on Telangana and demanded an
immediate decision on the issue.

The politburo said in a statement in Delhi that the
inaction of the government and the Congress leadership in
resolving the issue was the main cause for the present
impasse.

PTI