TDP agrees to join Telangana JAC; Cong ministers in Delhi

The Joint Action Committee, spearheading the Telangana agitation, received a boost on Sunday with Telugu Desam leaders from that region agreeing to join it.

Updated: Dec 27, 2009, 18:08 PM IST

Hyderabad/New Delhi: The Joint Action
Committee, spearheading the Telangana agitation, received a
boost on Sunday with Telugu Desam leaders from that region
agreeing to join it, even as Congress ministers demanded a
"time-frame" for the formation of a separate state.

Rallies and protest demonstrations were held across
the state today for the fourth consecutive day in support of
Telangana state.

A group of Telangana supporters "barged" into the office
of noted film producer Allu Aravind, a brother-in-law of
Chiranjeevi, in Hyderabad and pasted banners in support of
Telangana on the walls.

Prof K Kodandaram, convener of the JAC formed last week
to intensify agitation for the separate state, said leaders of
main opposition party TDP agreed to join the panel.

Several TDP MLAs from Telangana region also attended a
scheduled meeting of the JAC that has so far consisted of TRS,
Congress, BJP and a large number of outfits fighting for
separate statehood.

Kodandaram said the TDP has agreed to join the Commitee
on the only condition that the partner parties should not
indulge in criticism against each other.

Meanwhile, ministers from the Telangana region, who have
sent their resignations to Sonia Gandhi, arrived in New Delhi
to hold discussions with top leadership and demanded that the
Centre should set a "time-frame" for the formation of a
separate state.

Information and Tourism Minister Geeta Reddy
told reporters at the Delhi airport, "We are here to ask the
Centre and the Congress party to come out with a time-bound
programme for the creation of a Telangana state."

The ministers are likely to call on Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to convey the
sentiments of the people of Telangana over the December 23
statement by Home Minister P Chidambaram on the statehood

The ministers met Union Urban Development Minister S
Jaipal Reddy at his residence in New Delhi and held
discussions with him over the issue. Reddy also hails from the
Telangana region.

Small Scale Industries Minister D K Aruna told
reporters in Hyderabad before leaving for Delhi that "absence
of a time-frame to carry out consultations on the Telangana
demand led to the protests. We are confident that the top
leadership would deliver the separate state."

An attempt seems to be made by Congress to gain
dominance in the JAC with party leaders deciding to hold a
meeting on December 29 to discuss its participation in the

"We have to discuss the size of the JAC. Ours is a
national party. We have 13 ministers, 12 MPs and 70 MLAs and
MLCs. We are meeting on Dec 29 to discuss how to participate
in the JAC," senior Congress MLA R Damodar Reddy said.

He expressed confidence that realisation of the
separate statehood goal would be possible only with Congress

Meanwhile, the TRS received a shot in the arm when
rebel party MP Vijaya Santhi returning to its fold.

"We have removed the suspension on our MLA Aravinda
Reddy. We want other leaders who quit to return to the party,"
TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao told reporters at his
residence in Hyderabad flanked by Vijaya Santhi.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Osmania University
here, the nerve-centre of the separate Telangana movement,
today decided to organise a convention of students on January

"The Centre should clearly announce the steps for
formation of separate Telangana state by January 2. We will
organise `Telangana Vidyardhi Maha Garjana` (Massive roar by
Telangana students) on January 3," leaders of JAC said.

"We will flood Hyderabad with students from all
Telangana districts. The convention would be organised in such
a way that the state and Central governments would shiver,"
they said.