Telangana panel holds its first meeting


New Delhi: The government-appointed Telangana panel headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna held its first meeting here Saturday and decided to issue a public notice inviting political parties and organisations to give their views on the issue of a separate state.

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“Once the government issues the notice, we will go to Andhra Pradesh and meet up with these groups,” V.K. Duggal, former union home secretary and member of the five-member committee, told IANS.

The meeting also took stock of the seven-point terms of reference announced by the home ministry Friday and discussed a roadmap to proceed on the issues.

Chief among the terms of reference was to examine the demands of a separate state of Telangana as well as the demands for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh.

The committee will also review developments in the state since its formation and their impact on the progress and development of the different regions.

Other committee members are Ranbir Singh, vice chancellor of the National Law University, Delhi; Abu Saleh Shariff, senior research fellow in International Food Policy Research Institute, Delhi; and Rabinder Kaur, professor at the department of humanities and social sciences at Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi.

Meanwhile, police detained five students from Jawaharlal Nehru University, who held a protest outside Vigyan Bhavan here, the venue of the meeting.

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) has rejected the terms of reference announced by the government looking into the issue of statehood for Telangana.

TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, whose 11-day fast in December had forced the central government to announce that the process for formation of Telangana state would be initiated, said the terms were unacceptable to people of Telangana.

The TRS described the terms as “baseless, meaningless and mindless” and announced that its MPs and legislators would quit.

Legislators of the ruling Congress party and the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) said they would take a decision on resignations at the all-party Joint Action Committee (JAC) that meets later Saturday to chalk out its course of action.