As part of the protests against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh,YSR Congress Party (YSRPC) chief Jaganmohan Reddy on Saturday began an indefinite fast. This comes even as the Centre has begun working on a special package to pacify the Seemandhra region.
Jagan said that he would challenge the decision of the Centre to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh in the Supreme Court.
“We will challenge the Centre’s decision (to divide AP) in the Supreme Court,” Jagan said at the ‘deeksha’ camp.
Noting that there were “legal problems” involved in the state’s division,he wondered how the Centre could find solutions in six weeks.
“We are opposing the unilateral manner in which the Centre is functioning. How can it go ahead with the bifurcation process without a resolution in the state Assembly?” Jagan asked.
“We have never heard of an instance of state bifurcation without a resolution in the Assembly,” he said.
Announcing his decision to go on a fast over the issue,the YSRCP chief had on Friday said that it was not too late to revoke the Union Cabinet’s decision to create a separate Telangana. He pointed that if Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s stand can make the government change its decision on ordinance issue,it can always help in stopping the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
This is the second time that Jagan is undertaking an indefinite fast on the issue.
In September,he went on an indefinite hunger strike in Chanchalguda Jail,where he was lodged as an undertrial in an alleged disproportionate assets case against him,but it was foiled on the fifth day.
Now,following the Union Cabinet’s approval of division of the state,Jagan,who was recently granted bail,re-launched his agitation blaming the Centre and the Congress for going ahead with the bifurcation process without addressing the concerns of “majority of people”.
Thousands of party activists gathered at his Lotus Pond residence to greet Jagan as he began the stir at 11.30 AM,after paying homage at the bust of his late father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.
Party MP Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy and other leaders flanked Jagan on the specially erected ‘deeksha’ platform.
Jagan went on the fast a day after lakhs of people took to the streets Friday at the start of a 72-hour shutdown in coastal Andhra and the Rayalaseema regions to protest against the creation of a separate state of Telangana.
On Friday,protests broke out in cities and towns from Srikakulam in north coastal Andhra to Anantapur in Rayalaseema. All state and national highways were blocked,schools,colleges,businesses and government offices were shut,and protesters attacked the homes of lawmakers,asking them to resign.
Tensions ran high in Vijayawada where thousands of students came out to protest against the UPA government’s decision. Anger spilled on to the streets and massive protests were witnessed in Visakhapatnam,Vizianagaram,Srikakulam,Chittoor,Guntur,Anantapur,Kadapa and Kurnool.
The shutdown was total and was marred by sporadic incidents of violence. Seemandhra and the Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association president Ashok Babu warned that the protests could turn violent because of growing public anger.
Amidst these reports of shutdown,the Centre is working on a special package for Seemandhra,which includes extending tax concessions such as those provided to hilly states,a special grant for backward areas of the state and a political assurance on law enforcement by bringing it directly under the governor.
While these issues will be deliberated in detail by the Group of Ministers established to work out details of splitting the state,sources said a broad legal framework has already been prepared based on political consultation within the Congress as well as between the party and the government.
According to this,a single governor will be appointed for 10 years for both Telangana and Seemandhra,by when a new capital for Seemandhra would be ready. Since law enforcement will be under the governor,officers from the UT (union territories) cadre could be posted in Hyderabad.
Further,sources said,there will be two separate assemblies and high courts in Hyderabad for which the GoM will have to suggest modalities. While there is a separate building available in Hyderabad to start a new assembly,sources said the government will have to discuss with the Chief Justice of India on how soon a new high court could be set up.
(With PTI Inputs)