Chief Minister allows rally on Necklace Road, not Tank Bund

An amicable solution was found on Friday to the standoff over permitting the Telangana March in Hyderabad on September 30 when the government gave the go-ahead to the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) after extracting a commitment in writing from the organisers that they will not give any scope for disruption of law and order during the rally.

After several rounds of discussions with his Cabinet colleagues, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy agreed to permit the rally on the Necklace Road and not the Tank Bund as proposed by the organisers in view of the bitter experience during the ‘Million March’ last year when the statues were vandalised.

The government assured the organisers that, barring anti-social elements taken into preventive custody, all the other protagonists of separate Telangana would be released by Saturday.

There was, however, no clarity about the duration for which the rally would be permitted even as Minister K. Jana Reddy said the finer details, including the timings, would be finalised in consultation with the officials concerned.

Mr. Jana Reddy, along with Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy, B. Saraiah, N. Uttam Kumar Reddy and G. Prasad Kumar, held elaborate discussions with the TJAC leaders for over three hours.

Congress MPs Ponnam Prabhakar and S. Rajaiah, TRS floor leader E. Rajender, BJP senior leader Bandaru Dattatreya, CPI leader Palla Venkat Reddy and constituents of the TJAC, including employees participated in the deliberations. Mr. Jana Reddy said since the government had considered the aspirations of the people in according permission to the rally, it was now up to the pro-Telangana activists to ensure that their message was communicated to the Centre in a peaceful manner.

Mr. Jana Reddy said the meeting discussed about the apprehensions about the possibility of untoward incidents ahead of the UN Convention on Biodiversity beginning in Hyderabad on October 1. An in-depth analysis was still under way to ensure peaceful conduct of the March as the government thought it was appropriate to allow the people to exercise their right of expression.

First victory

TJAC chairman M. Kodandaram described the development as the first victory of the people, but the main objective was to mount pressure on the Centre to implement its December 9, 2009 assurance on initiating the process for separate Telangana utilising the March as an opportunity.

He hoped that the government would fulfil its assurance of releasing the arrested people.