United AP backers step up protests
press trust of india
Hyderabad/Vijayawada/New Delhi, 30 July
As the Congress moves to bite the Telangana bullet, supporters of united Andhra Pradesh today stepped up protests against any division of the state.
Students, employees and other supporters of united Andhra Pradesh staged protests in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions amid indications that the ruling Congress would take a decision in favour of separate Telangana.
The students’ Joint Action Committee (JAC), which organised a march in the port town of Visakhapatnam, demanded that legislators from the non-Telangana regions resign from their posts to mount pressure on the Centre. The protesters held a rally in Eluru, the Lok Sabha constituency of Union Minister K S Rao, in support of the united Andhra cause.
In Kurnool, lawyers boycotted courts and held a demonstration. Kurnool is represented in Lok Sabha by Union Minister of State for Railways K Jayasuryaprakash Reddy.
Students from various educational institutes took out a rally in Vijayawada to protest possible bifurcation of AP. Over 3,000 students, including girls, from various colleges, under the JAC banner, staged a “rasta roko” near the Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium in Vijayawada.
The students’ JAC leaders said the Union government should not concede the demand of bifurcating the state made by some political leaders for their “selfish motive” at the cost of crores of Telugu people. They demanded that people’s representatives from all political parties resign from their posts.
A number of public and private sector employees from various organisations, trade union leaders and advocates joined the rally.
Meanwhile, Congress MLAs from Rayalaseema would meet tomorrow to discuss their future course of action, state Minor Irrigation Minister T G Venkatesh told PTI in Hyderabad.
To a query, he said all issues including whether the leaders from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra would quit their posts on the Telangana issue, would be discussed at the meet. On the other hand, main Opposition TDP sought to know why the Centre did not table the Srikrishna Committee’s report on Telangana in Parliament for discussion.
‘Separate state after agitation dangerous’
press trust of india
Srinagar/New Delhi, 30 July
As the Congress moved closer to a decision on Telangana, UPA ally and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today cautioned it was “dangerous” to carve out new states after agitation amid fresh statehood demands in other parts of the country.
In a ripple effect of Telangana, Senior Congress leader Mr Vilas Muttemwar pressed for creation of Vidarbha state out of Maharashtra and wrote to party President Sonia Gandhi, saying this demand was “older and stronger” than that for carving out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.
Omar, Working President of the J and K National Conference, while voicing his reservations on Telangana statehood said it could act as an incentive to those agitating for similar demands elsewhere in the country.
He said giving in to the demand of creating a separate state in the backdrop of an agitation was a “dangerous thing”.
“An impression is being created that an agitation can lead to the creation of a new state, be it in Bundelkhand, Maharashtra, Gorkhaland or in our state. What will you tell the people of Jammu ~ agitate for seven or eight years and you will get a separate state? This is a dangerous thing,” he said.
The chief minister said the job of creating new states should be entrusted to the States Reorganisation Commission.
“If there is a need to create new states, the job should be entrusted to the States Reorganisation Commission.”
Mr Muttemwar, a seven-term Lok Sabha member who represents Nagpur, expressed apprehensions that if the demand of the people of Vidarbha is not accepted at this juncture, “they will grievously and genuinely will grievously and genuinely feel badly neglected and may resort to violent agitation”.
Besides Vidarbha, Telangana has opened the floodgates to similar demands for creating a separate Gorkhaland in West Bengal, Bodoland in Assam and carving out Harit Pradesh from Uttar Pradesh.
The Ajit Singh led-Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has already stepped up the demand for creating Harit Pradesh out of the western part of Uttar Pradesh, his home turf. He is also in favour of a separate Bundelkhand state ~ a region now divided between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha chief Bimal Gurung has already gone public, saying: “Our demand for Gorkhaland is older than the demand for Telangana. If the Centre announces a Telangana state then it should also declare a Gorkhaland state.”
Mr Gurung yesterday threatened that the ongoing three-day strike, which entered the second day today, would be converted into an indefinite one to press for Gorkhaland if statehood was conferred on Telangana.
Amid the clamour for creating small states, CPI-M General Secretary Prakash Karat said statehood for Telangana will spur such demands in other parts of the country.
Caught between culture and duty
Hyderabad, 30 July
Bhagyanagar-Hyderabad-Cyberabad ~ the 400-year-old city is once again standing on the threshold of change and uncertainty following the announcement that it would be the common capital of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Conceived to be “Eden on Earth” by its founder Mohammad Quli who named it after his love ~ Bhagmati, Hyderabad has always seen its fortune or misfortune as one may say, intertwined with politics.
The chronicle of the city&’s growth began when it came into being in 1591 by the river Musi as the Golconda Fort became too congested.
During Quli&’s lifetime the pagan name was changed to Hyderabad after Bhagmati&’s post-marriage title ~ Hyder Mahal. According to Mr Narendra Luther, a former chief secretary and an authority on Hyderabad, the phase lasted till Aurangzeb sacked the city in 1687. After the Asaf Jahi dynasty came to power, the second Nizam shifted his capital back to Hyderabad from Aurangabad in 1763. The nobles came back and the city was rebuilt.
The third phase of growth began when the Nizam signed the Subsidiary Alliance in 1798 and the British Residency was built. With the coming of Railways, Hyderabad was connected with Bombay and thus began the fourth phase of its development in 1876.
With the destruction of Hyderabad by the floods of Musi in 1908, systematic planning was taken up for the first time in the city.
Finally, came its integration with India, a full one year after the rest of the country secured its independence. In 1956, its elevation to the status of the capital of Andhra Pradesh saw a spurt of immigration from all over Andhra who gave up Madras in favour of the “bride the among cities.” Subsequently, there was immigration from whole of India bestowing it with its present cosmopolitan character.
The original denizens were left ruing as concrete invaded the greenery and real estate took off in a big way. Today, people from Seemandhra are reluctant to give up on Hyderabad which is at the middle of Telangana because they have properties in the cosmopolitan city and every family has one or more members who are either working or studying there.
“The culture of Hyderabad is not the same as Telangana. The solution is not that easy,” says GS Srikanth, a private sector employee, expressing reservation about sharing Hyderabad while Telangana supporters want Hyderabad to be solely the capital of the new state.
Denizens of the old city, comprising minorities are unhappy as well. Their representative body, the Majlis-e-Ittehad, does not want Telangana.