Avinash blames Naidu for his letter to the Centre on Telangana issue; Congress calls bandh today

Youth Congress president and Samaikhyandhra Students JAC chairman Devineni Avinash was taken into custody while staging a rasta roko on NH-5 at Ramavarappadu Circle minutes before a the Congress Working Committee endorsed the formation of Telangana State, here on Tuesday. The police arrested him and his followers when they obstructed the traffic lying across the road.

The security cover was increased with police fanning out to all areas of the city and stationing themselves at several junctions in the city in anticipation of violence and destruction. Troops from other States were deployed to maintain law and order.

A massive rally led by Student Joint Accreditation Council and Youth Congress leader Devineni Avinash was taken out on Tuesday on M.G. Road in Vijayawada from Benz Circle to IGMC Stadium opposing carving out of Telangana.

Police and special forces deployed in Vijayawada kept a close watch on the rally. There was, however, no violence and people in entire city went about doing their routine work normally with all shops open. The educational institutions functioned normally in Guntur and Krishna districts on Tuesday. Students from various colleges participated in the rally. The Congress and TDP MLAs, who had opposed formation of Telangana were not accessible to the media and did not come out into public either in the Krishna or Guntur districts.

“Jai Samaikyandhra” the students raised slogans until their voices went hoarse. The rallyists squatted on the road in front of Sweet Magic and raised slogans for several minutes. Standing on the bonnet of an open top jeep Mr. Avinash said that the division of the State would not be tolerated under any cost.

He said that Telugu Desam leader N. Chandrababu Naidu had to take responsibility for the situation in the State.

It was his letter to the Central Government that triggered of the whole process. Majority of students in the State do not want the state to be divided, he said. Vijayawada West Constituency Legislator Velampalli Srinivas and his followers took out rally in the main streets of One Town.

Former Congress leader and Pedana MLA Jogi Ramesh, currently in YSR Congress, held a press conference to criticise the Telugu Desam Party and the Congress for agreeing to divide the State and hoped that people will teach both the parties a lesson if Telangana was carved out.

In Guntur city, a handful of Samaikhya Andhra protagonists held a dharna on Tuesday, but there was no disturbance to normal life.

The District Congress Committee (DCC) and the City Congress Committee (CCC) have called for bandh to protest against the Congress Working Committee’s decision to create a separate Telangana. District committee president Naraharisetti Narasimha Rao said on Tuesday that it was difficult to digest the news about division of the State.

The decision to make Hyderabad a common capital was also a blow, he said. Mr. Narasimha Rao said that he would oppose bifurcation of the State tooth and nail and urged all to support the cause of a united State and observe bandh on Wednesday.

Former PCC secretary Kolanadonda Sivaji said the decision to bifurcate the State was a historic mistake. For people of Seemandhra, July 30 would be a Black Day. He said bifurcation was the result of some Seemandhra MPs and Central Ministers failing to convey the feelings of the people to AICC president Sonia Gandhi.

CPI welcomed the Congress decision.

Its city secretary Donepudi Sankar said the Centre should not neglect the Seemandhra region. It should develop it on all fronts. Proper care should be taken with regard to sharing of irrigation and drinking waters, power etc, he said.

Vijayawada Central MLA Malladi Vishnu said the endorsement to bifurcate the State was most unfortunate, but unavoidable in the present conditions. Seemandhra leaders should ensure proper financial package to the State. Mr. Vishnu said he would try for establishment of the capital between Vijayawada and Guntur on the banks of the Krishna.

Vijayawada East MLA Yelamanchili Ravi said the decision was “one sided.” Seemandhra would face new problems. All these were represented to the party high command, Mr. Ravi added.

BJP official spokesperson Srinivasa Raju said the Congress was finally convinced. Only after it introduced a bill and passed it in Parliament could people be sure of separate Telangana, he said.

Andhra JAC president Sunkara Krishna Murthy hailed the CWC endorsement. He said the committee would hold a meeting with intellectuals from Seemandhra region to decide its requirements on August 3.

Mixed reaction from YSRC

The reaction to the carving out of Telangana, was mixed among the YSR Congress leaders in the city. Towing the party stand, Central constituency in-charge P. Gowtham Reddy, said on Tuesday that they will go by the party’s idea of respecting the sentiments of the Telangana people. Another party leader Jaleel Khan, however, termed it as betrayal of the Andhrites without consulting them.

“This was a major decision and it cannot be decided in a closed room by a group of persons who have no affinity to the region. It cannot be a unilateral decision. The people from both the sides were not taken into confidence and the larger picture post bifurcation of the State was not considered in a holistic manner,” opined Mr. Reddy. The YSR Congress leader Vangaveeti Radha expressed concern over the water sharing issue. “The bifurcation will invite a long drawn problem on the water sharing issue and the coastal districts will be the victims. The future generation will bear the brunt of the bifurcation, he opined.

Students boycott classes

Students of Krishna University on Tuesday joined the agitation against the move to form Telangana State. Students, under the banner of Samaikhyandhra Student JAC, boycotted classes and took out a rally within the campus. Except for students of Krishna University campus, those from other educational institutions in Machilipatnam did not participate in the rally.

The A.P. NGOs Association and A.P. Revenue Employees Association members also extended their support to the students.