Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to announce commencement of the constitutional process for the formation of Telangana by Monday evening, failing which an indefinite bandh would be called from December 29.
He served this ultimatum at a meeting of the newly formed Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) here, but its leaders felt that a holistic view, including the likely inconvenience to the public, should be taken. Moreover, they should elicit the cooperation of the Telugu Desam Party which had refused to join the JAC after attending its maiden meeting on Thursday. JAC convener C. Kondaram told The Hindu that a final decision on the bandh would be taken in a day or two.
Talking to mediapersons, the TRS president demanded that Chief Minister K. Rosaiah step down as he had lost moral right to continue after the resignation of Ministers from Telangana. He accused TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu of hatching a conspiracy to set up obstacles for separate Telangana and for misleading his own partymen by blaming the TRS for attack on Nagam Janardhan Reddy, a senior MLA, on Osmania University campus.
Congress MP Madhu Yaskhi, referring to The Hindu’s editorial, “Way out in Andhra Pradesh,” asked the JAC to engage the newspaper’s editorial team in a dialogue over its content. He said the struggle for separate Telangana was not over development or backwardness but it was one for self-respect. “Our region may be backward but not our thinking,” he said.
Mr. Rao intervened to say that Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu N. Ram was his personal friend and regretted the JAC did not have a resource group to impress upon Editors and the media about the merits of the agitation. He called for setting up of a group of intellectuals to talk to Editors by Monday evening.
Meanwhile, in a fresh headache for the Rosaiah Government, all 13 Ministers from the Telangana announced their decision to resign to exert pressure on the Centre to expedite the process of statehood within a time frame. Twelve Ministers faxed ‘a joint letter of resignation’ to AICC president Sonia Gandhi stating that the Centre’s latest stand virtually putting the statehood on hold had caused confusion and anguish.