A day after the ruling dispensation at the Centre cleared the creation of a separate Telangana state,violent protests broke out in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts on Wednesday. Meanwhile,six ministers from Andhra region are reported to have resigned.
The Andhra-Rayalaseema region observed a total shutdown with educational institutions,businesses and transport services remaining closed. However,the shutdown did not affect the third and final phase of panchayat elections held today,which reported a turnout of over 80 per cent.
Protestors vandalised statues of Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi in Anantapur,Kurnool and Nellore. Effigies of Congress president Sonia Gandhi were burnt at many places. The Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) suspended services in most of the districts in the two regions,while Karnataka suspended services to Rayalaseema districts. APSRTC buses were targeted in many places.
The protestors also held massive rallies and blocked roads. All national and state highways were blocked,including the crucial Vijayawada-Hyderabad highway.
Congress MPs,MLAs and ministers from Andhra said they would launch agitations to re-unite the state. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy,while denying reports of his resignation,said he felt hurt and pained about the proposed division of the state. However,he told a group of ministers opposed to Telangana that they should accept the situation and move on. The CM is learnt to have advised the ministers that they should now look at how to take the two states forward smoothly.
Confirming that he had submitted his resignation letter,Law and Courts Minister Erasu Prathap Reddy said,I oppose bifurcation of the state. It has been done without considering the sentiments of all the people. I do not wish to continue in the cabinet. I think five other ministers have also resigned. We will be launching agitations to re-unite the state.
Breaking his silence on the issue,TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu welcomed the decision to create Telangana state but said the Centre should take the responsibility of helping both the states move forward. The Congress cannot just walk away after dividing the state. It should help Andhra set up a new capital. I assume that at least four or five lakh crores will be required to build a new capital and develop infrastructure. The Centre should provide grants and funds to Andhra to establish a city like Hyderabad, he said.
There are a number of central public sector undertakings,central government institutes,research organisations and premier educational institutions in Hyderabad. Similar institutions should be built in Andhra region so that employment opportunities will be available for people of that region, he added.
The Centre should also settle issues related to water-sharing,power,revenue-sharing and jobs. All these things should be incorporated in the State Re-organisation Bill itself, said Naidu.
MIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi demanded that Urdu should be made the first language along with Telugu in Telangana state. He also sought amendments in CrPC to punish anyone who refers to people who have made Hyderabad their home as settlers or non-Telangana people.
MAYAWATI RENEWS UP DEMAND
BSP had sent a proposal (to) split Uttar Pradesh into four states… It (now) demands that on the principle of one language-one state,the Centre… should complete the process besides Gorkhakland and Vidarbha
TOO BIG TO RULE: JAIRAM RAMESH
Purely from an administrative point of view,a state of over 200 million people,72 districts,over 800 blocks… Its just not governable. It is my personal view… Its politics is a separate issue
INDEFINITE BANDH IN HILLS
GJM HAS called an indefinite bandh in the Darjeeling Hills from Saturday to press for a separate Gorkhaland. If there can be a Telangana state then why not a Gorkhaland? GJM spokesman Roshan Giri said.