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Telangana JAC Seeks Clear Time Frame For New State

PTI 07 Jan 2010, 9:09:57 IST
PTI

The Telangana Joint Action Committee on Wednesday demanded that the Centre initiate steps for formation of a separate state within a 'clear time frame' and resolved to continue its 'peaceful' agitation till the decision is officially announced.

The committee, which met in New Delhi a day after an all party meeting called by Home Minister P Chidambaram ended in a stalemate, also expressed dismay over attempts to bring the element of Naxalism in the separate state movement.

"We strongly condemn the campaign by certain individuals and political parties regarding the entry of Naxalites in the movement. We resolve to counter this at all level," convener of the committee C Kodandaram told reporters after passing a resolution in this regard.

He said the JAC has resolved to press the Centre "to take steps for formation of Telangana state with a clear time frame."

"Till the formation of the state is officially announced, the committee will continue the agitation peacefully for Telangana state," he added.

The committee also decided to hold a meeting of all Members of Legislative Assembly, Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Council in Hyderabad within the next few days to decide the future course of action.

Meanwhile, in a deft move aimed at putting the United Progressive Alliance government in a tight spot, the Telugu Desam Party has demanded that the Centre constitute a committee to look into the demands of not just Telangana, but of other smaller states as well.

"Yes, we have placed this demand before the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram," TDP Politburo member and former Union minister K Yerrannaidu said.

Chidambaram, however, did not respond to this demand.

The TDP's demand, according to party sources, was based on the fact that there were demands for creation of smaller states like Vidarbha, north Karnataka, Harit Pradesh and Bundelkhand in various parts of the country.

"The Centre itself has acknowledged that there are demands for creation of at least 12 other states apart from Telangana. Then why is it overly concerned about bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh when majority of the state's population wants to stay united?" a senior TDP leader said.

"Why is that you have limited the consultation process only to Telangana and not extend it to other demands? If you are so genuinely concerned about smaller states and the so-called 'people's sentiment' then involve others as well," the TDP delegation reportedly told Chidambaram.

The TDP presented its case at the all-party meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday as well as during its interaction with Chidambaram on Wednesday, the sources said.

By pressing for a committee, the TDP wants to put the UPA in general and the Congress in particular in a tight spot as the statehood-seekers ire would be directed at the ruling party.

"Though we have limited or no say in the formation of a separate state, the Congress in Andhra Pradesh has been trying to push the blame on us and also indulging in mudslinging on our leader Chandrababu Naidu. If a committee is indeed constituted to look into the statehood demands, the Congress will get exposed," the TDP leader said.

The committee, if constituted, would have to necessarily take the opinion of people of all the three regions of Andhra Pradesh and ultimately go by the majority view, which would obviously in favour of a unified state, the leader noted. PTI