Telangana Congress leaders form group for state campaign


Hyderabad : Senior Congress party leaders from Telangana in Andhra Pradesh Sunday formed a new group under the leadership of Congress Working Committee member G. Venkatswamy to oppose the proposal for a second States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) and to fight for separate statehood to the region.

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The proposal for a second SRC, which is under serious consideration of the party’s central leadership, continues to rock the state’s ruling party with top leaders from the backward region making it clear that they would never accept the second SRC.

The group, which also includes All India Congress Committee secretary Madhu Yaskhi, decided to meet party president Sonia Gandhi later this month to convey their opposition to the proposal.

A day after Venkatswamy, a former union minister, threatened to resign from the Lok Sabha over the issue, about a dozen senior leaders met at his residence here to decide the future course of action.

Stating that the second SRC would only delay the process of formation of separate Telangana, the group warned that this would damage the party in the region. They made it clear that there would be no going back on the demand for separate state.

The senior leaders, including K.R. Amos, M. Satyanarayana Rao and P. Goverdhan Reddy, chose Venkatswamy as their leader. Goud told reporters after the meeting that since the Telangana Congress Coordination Committee (TRCC), a group formed by some party leaders in 2004, had become defunct, they decided to constitute a new group to carry on the movement for separate Telangana.

They claimed that several party legislators from the region spoke to them over phone and expressed their solidarity. Amos, who is the convenor of the group, said if necessary they would quit their posts.

“There are strong public sentiments for separate Telangana. We will convey the people’s sentiment to Sonia Gandhi and urge her not to go ahead with the second SRC, and speed up the process of formation of a separate state,” said Venkatswamy.

“There will be no compromise on separate statehood to Telangana. The second SRC will give a wrong message to the people of the region,” said Madhu Yaskhi Goud, who is also the member of the Lok Sabha from Nizamabad.

Veteran leader M. Satyanarayana Rao said they would never accept the second SRC. He said Venkatswamy’s decision to resign in case of formation of the second SRC was significant and was bound to have its impact.

Venkatswamy had Saturday warned that if the sentiments of the people of Telangana were not respected the region could witness a 1969-like situation, referring to the violent turn the Telangana movement had then taken. More than 300 people were killed in the police firing at various places.

The demand for separate Telangana is four decades old. The region, comprising 10 districts, including Hyderabad, accounts for 42 percent of the state’s area and 40 percent of the state’s 77 million population.