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Dy. Speaker resigns, launches new outfit

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, APRIL 27. Mr. K. Chandrasekhar Rao today resigned as Deputy Speaker, MLA and primary member of the ruling Telugu Desam Party and launched the Telangana Rashtra Samithi to fight for separate Statehood.

He launched the separatist outfit at a well-attended meeting of supporters from the Telangana region and several ex- MLAs, including the former Assembly Speaker, Mr. G. Narayan Rao. He was unanimously elected leader of the TRS after which he unfurled the samithi's pink coloured flag carrying the map of Telangana.

Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao spewed fire at the Chief Minister, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, for neglecting Telangana and challenged him to fight against him from Siddipet, the Assembly seat which he was now vacating after winning four times from there. He announced that a rally, `Telangana simha garjana,' would be held at Karimnagar on May 17 as a show of strength for his cause.

Stating that the TRS had a well laid-out strategy to achieve its objective, he announced a plan of action to make it a mass-based organisation having the presence in all 13,600 villages, 464 mandals and 107 Assembly constituencies in Telangana. It would contest the upcoming panchayat elections which would provide the ideal platform to emerge as a strong political force.

As per this strategy, teams would be constituted for each Assembly segment by May 3. After training in Hyderabad, they would fan out into the rural areas and constitute 464 teams for the mandals which, in turn, would appoint two committees in each village - one for men and the other for women. Later, the village committees would elect mandal office-bearers and so on.

Mr. Rao asserted that the separate movement would be completely peaceful and not directed against people from Andhra region settled in Telangana. The TRS would disown any acts of violence but would retaliate if police resorted to acts of highhandedness.

Criticising Mr. Naidu for his `autocratic style of functioning' and his claims of effectively serving the needs of Telangana, he said the Chief Minister's power sector reforms were like a `noose' round the neck of Telangana farmers who were forced to pay heavy electricity tariff for using pumpsets whereas their Andhra counterparts were sitting pretty with copious water supply from irrigation projects.

He cited several instances of discrimination against Telangana in the spheres of irrigation, education and distribution of political and administrative positions.

Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao said the Chief Minister's obsession with hi-tech methods of administration had not been able to prevent gastroenteritis deaths in Adilabad, suicide by farmers and weavers and trafficking of children for adoption in Telangana.

Refuting Mr. Naidu's contention that naxalites were responsible for the backwardness of Telangana, he pointed out that major power utilities at Ramagundam and Kothagudem were running successfully.

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