Scores of representatives of various associations root for a united State
A Joint Action Committee (non-political) has been formed with former Vice-Chancellor of Acharya Nagarjuna University V. Bala Mohan Das as its chairman to coordinate the agitations being conducted by various organisations for ‘Samaikyandhra’.
The formation of the committee was preceded by a three-and-half hour marathon meeting with scores of representatives of various associations declaring in one voice that anything short of ‘keeping the State united’ was not acceptable to them.
The people of Seemandhra would not take it lying down if a political party decides to divide the State unilaterally. They recalled that the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had decided against bifurcation of the State after the Jai Andhra agitation in 1972. Only after that Hyderabad was developed by people of Seemandhra region along with those from the Telangana region.
“We can’t remain silent spectators to the bifurcation of the State after developing Hyderabad with thousands of crores of rupees as the capital. Now over 50 per cent of the State’s revenue will go to Hyderabad. Organisations from Visakhapatnam such as VUDA and EPDCL had also contributed crores of rupees to the development of Hyderabad,” said vice-president of Rushikonda IT Parks Association O. Naresh Kumar.
He suggested that revenue sources to the Centre like IT and commercial taxes payable by various industries in the city should be deferred till the Centre reversed its decision.
“We should set up hoardings in Delhi and Hyderabad such as “Don’t kill us (Andhra Pradesh)” and “You can’t loot AP like this”.
Government Whip Dronamraju Srinivas said that the Seemandhra people have been tolerating the outbursts of TRS president K. Chandrasekhara Rao from time to time.
He said that the Sri Krishna Committee had given a detailed report along with statistics on the contribution of Seemandhra to the development of Hyderabad. He recalled that the ‘T’ agitation was first started on the ‘development’ plank, later on upholding the ‘culture’ of ‘T’ and now it was harbouring on ‘sentiment’.
Mr. Srinivas underlined the need to send a strong signal to the Centre that Seemandhra people would not tolerate bifurcation.
Student JAC leader Areti Mahesh was critical of the police invoking the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act on Intermediate students for participating in agitation. He recalled that children below 10 years of age had participated in the ‘T’ struggle. He called upon Samaikyandhra leaders not to damage statues of Indira Gandhi as she had contributed to the cause of keeping the State united.
Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao said that the objective of formation of the JAC (non-political) was to strengthen the Samaikyandhra movement by involving all sections of the people and leaders, irrespective of their political affiliations. He said that he would defy the party whip if the bifurcation issue came up in the Assembly for voting. He promised to strive to prevent the police from booking cases against students. He felt that the Samaikyandhra agitation was a ‘mass movement’ and for petty cases NBWs were ‘unwarranted’. He, however, appealed to students not to become emotional and commit suicide.