As the UPA government gears up for the passage of the Telangana Bill in Parliament this week, the two sides of the regional divide in Andhra Pradesh have stepped up efforts in support of their respective agendas.
The YSR Congress is organising a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi tomorrow against the division of Andhra Pradesh. The party leaders and supporters have left for the national capital in two trains from different parts of the state. “The dharna would be a battle between Delhi’s arrogance and Telugu self-pride and the latter will be the winner eventually,” YSRC spokesperson Vasireddy Padma had said recently.
Meanwhile, the forum for protection of integrated AP, led by the Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association, would also be organising a protests this week in New Delhi. The forum plans to hold a public meeting at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi against division.
The APNGOs and other protagonists of integrated Andhra Pradesh have been camping in Delhi to campaign against the proposed division. Meanwhile, the separate statehood supporters have been making efforts for the passage of the Telangana Bill.
TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, his party MLAs and the leaders of other pro-Telangana parties and outfits have also been camping in Delhi to drum up support for the Bill. Andhra Pradesh Bhavan in Delhi has been the venue for many a protest and clashes over the contentious issue during the last couple of weeks.
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In a new low in India’s parliamentary history, pepper spray was used in the Lok Sabha on February 13 resulting in hospitalisation of three MPs following a ruckus over introduction of the Telangana bill after which 16 Andhra Pradesh MPs were suspended.