Testing time for Rosaiah during Statehood agitation

The 15 months that K. Rosaiah served as Chief Minister was perhaps the most turbulent phase of the separate Telangana agitation that culminated in formation of the State.

The fast paced developments that ignited the agitation during this period commenced with the Supreme Court verdict on October 9, 2009, hardly a month after Rosaiah took over as the CM, declaring Hyderabad as a free zone under Presidential Order where people from coastal districts can also seek employment.

The non-gazetted employees’ unions protested the judgment as they wanted Hyderabad to be part of zone six that was in Telangana. A series of meetings of employees took place after the protests, one of which was also attended by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who spearheaded the agitation that later took an enormous form.

Mr. Rao then announced his decision to go on a fast unto death on November 21 after meeting President Pratibha Patil and explaining to her consequences of the stir. As scheduled, he left here for Karimnagar on November 28 to commence the fast at Siddipet the next day but was arrested at Alaganur on the way and shifted to a jail in Khammam.

His arrest drove a youth, Srikanth Chary, to commit suicide by burning himself on the same day at L.B. Nagar and he succumbed four days later. By then, the protests had intensified all over Telangana and Mr. Rao, who was in district headquarters hospital at Khammam since he had already begun the fast, was shifted to NIMS in Hyderabad for security reasons.

Mr. Rosaish announced in the Assembly on December 5 that he would convene an all-party meeting to take their views. The meeting took place on December 7 when it was unanimously agreed that a resolution be moved seeking separate Telangana in the House.

This was followed by protests and violence at Osmania University and a ‘Chalo Assembly’ call given by students’ unions for December 9. As KCR’s condition at NIMS deteriorated, the Centre summoned Mr. Rosaiah to New Delhi for consultations. Even as he boarded the flight to return home after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram announced at midnight that the Centre would initiate the process to create Telangana.

The announcement had a severe backlash in coastal districts and Rayalaseema and MPs and MLAs of all parties started submitting their resignations from December 11. The Centre took a U-turn, which was articulated by Mr. Chidambaram’s another announcement on December 23 that the government would take the next step towards giving birth to Telangana only after holding wide ranging consultations with all parties and groups.

A resistance in Telangana arose with a bandh call given by Mr. Rao on December 24 followed by the birth of Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC). The Centre convened an all-party meeting in New Delhi where representatives of each party were asked to submit their views in writing. The Centre then constituted the Justice Sri Krishna Committee on February 4, 2010, which gave its report on December 31 that year around the time Mr. Rosaiah stepped down.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 10:56:02 AM |

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