Andhra leaders opposing Telangana continue fast


Hyderabad : Opposing the proposed division of Andhra Pradesh, Congress MP L. Rajagopal, state legislator Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy and others Sunday continued their hunger strike in hospitals and demanded that they be shifted to Hyderabad.

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Vijayawada MP Rajagopal, who was removed from his hunger strike camp and shifted to hospital Saturday, has refused to end the fast or cooperate with doctors unless he is shifted to Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) in Hyderabad.

Member of legislative council Vivekananda Reddy, brother of late chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, continued his fast for the sixth day at a hospital in Kadapa.

He too wants to be shifted to NIMS, where Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) K. Chandrasekhara Rao was admitted during his “fast unto death” demanding a separate Telangana state.

State Human Rights Commission had Saturday asked the state government to consider Rajagaopal’s plea to be shifted to NIMS. However, anticipating law and order problems here, the government has decided against shifting any of the anti-Telangana leaders to Hyderabad.

Both Rajagaopal and Vivekananda Reddy were arrested here last week when they tried to launch hunger strike. They were sent back to their native towns.

Four legislators of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) are also continuing their fasts in hospitals in Anantapur and Vijayawada.

The doctors, with the help of police, are forcibly giving saline and fluids to the fasting leaders on the direction of courts.

Several other leaders and students at various towns in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema are continuing the indefinite hunger strike, demanding that the central government withdraw its Dec 9 statement to initiate the process for the formation of Telangana state.

Meanwhile, protests continued across the two regions for the 10th day. A three-day shutdown call has been given by supporters of Vivekananda Reddy in Kadapa district.

Normal life has still not returned to normal in most parts of the two regions. In Vijayawada protestors staged mass ‘satyagrah’ on the national highway blocking the vehicular traffic.

Actor-turned-politician K. Chiranjeevi continued the campaign for ‘United Andhra’ in the coastal region. He addressed public meeting in Vijayawada and called upon fasting leaders and activists.

The ‘bus yatra’ of TDP leaders Sunday reached Kurnool district after covering Chittoor, Kadapa and Anantapur districts in Rayalaseema. It will also cover all nine districts of coastal Andhra.