M A I N   N E W S

Rao’s flip-flop on fast triggers confusion
Footage shows TRS chief taking juice; party dubs it a govt plot; it’s a letdown, feel students
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, December 1
The maverick Telangana protagonist K Chandrasekhar Rao’s flip-flop on his much-publicised fast has led to confusion in Andhra Pradesh political circles.

Barely a day after calling off his indefinite fast on the advice of doctors following deterioration of health condition, Rao, the president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), changed his mind and announced today that he would continue the hunger strike demanding creation of separate Telangana state.

While video footage released by the authorities showed the TRS chief accepting a glass of fruit juice to break the fast at a government hospital in Khammam, the sub-regional party, maintained that its leader continued to be on indefinite fast.

“It was a conspiracy by the government to show our leader in poor light. There is no question of calling off the fast. Rao will continue the fast, come what may,” TRS ideologue Prof Jayashankar said.

Rao was arrested on November 29, amid high drama, while he was on his way to his hometown Siddipet to undertake the fast. He was shifted to Khammam where a local court remanded him in two-week judicial custody.

The TRS chief was administered saline and offered fruit juice yesterday, following which he had announced withdrawal of the agitation and even appealed to the agitating students not to resort to violence.

This had infuriated the students carrying out the agitation at various universities and colleges across Telangana region. They condemned Rao’s announcement of calling off the fast and vowed to continue their stir till the statehood goal was achieved.

“Chandrasekhar Rao announced that he would sacrifice his life for separate Telangana. But he called off his fast within two days. He has let us down. But we will continue our fight,” the students holding a rally at Osmania University campus here said.

Similar demonstrations were held at Kakatiya University in Warangal, the nerve centre of Telangana movement, and other institutions across the region.

As the mood among the student community hardened, the TRS made belligerent posturing, asserting that its leader was prepared to sacrifice his life for the statehood cause.

A section of government employees in the region also joined the protest and resorted to pen-down protest. Lawyers supporting the demand for separate state boycotted courts.

The fast-unto-death programme was seen as part of a strategy by the TRS to regain public confidence after suffering severe drubbing in the April General Election. The TRS, which hoped to play a key role in national politics on Telangana plank, came a cropper in the polls, managing to win just two Lok Sabha and 10 Assembly seats.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |