M A I N   N E W S

TRS cries ‘betrayal’ over Centre’s terms
Objects to united AP demand, to intensify stir
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, February 12
The Telangana region was once again thrown into political turmoil today with the protagonists of separate state rejecting the terms of reference of the Justice Srikrishna committee and vowing to intensify their agitation.

Soon after the Centre unveiled the much-awaited terms of reference of the five-member panel, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which has been spearheading the statehood agitation, struck a belligerent note and announced that its MPs, MLAs and MLCs would resign in protest.

“It is a betrayal of Telangana cause. The terms are totally unacceptable to us,” TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao said. Telangana leaders from other parties, too, expressed disappointment over the terms of reference (ToR).

A fresh crisis stared at an already volatile Telangana region with the joint action committee of students calling for a shutdown tomorrow and additional police forces being deployed at Osmania University campus here, the epicentre of the statehood agitation that had witnessed violence in the past.

Rejecting the ToR and the ten-month time frame given for the committee, the TRS chief said the Centre had once again cheated the people of Telangana by backtracking on its December 9 statement announcing initiation of the process for formation of separate state. He said the elected representatives of his party — two MPs, including Rao, 10 MLAs and one MLC — would resign immediately.

Taking serious objection to the inclusion of the demand for continuation of united Andhra Pradesh among the ToR, he said: “What is the point in looking into the demand for united AP when it already exists now? There is only one popular movement going on in the state and that is for separate Telangana state.”

With the UPA government failing to keep its commitment on granting statehood, there was no option for the people of Telangana other than launching a prolonged struggle to achieve their goal, Rao said.

The convener of an all-party Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) Prof M Kodandaram said the Centre’s announcement came as a major disappointment for those fighting for the statehood cause.

“We expected the government to honour its commitment on carving out Telangana state and wanted the terms of reference to be a continuation of the December 9 statement. But, they are quite contrary to the earlier assurance. This has created pre-December 9 situation and amounted to backtracking on Telangana commitment," he said.

However, the leaders from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions found comfort in the open-ended nature of the panel’s terms.

“We welcome the terms of reference, which are fairly balanced. It will give an opportunity for a thorough assessment of the ground situation,” the ruling Congress MP from coastal Andhra region U Arun Kumar said.

However, the ruling party leaders from Telangana region found themselves divided on the issue. While state Congress president D Srinivas, who hails from Telangana, and some ministers welcomed the panel’s terms, other leaders expressed disappointment over lack of assurance on the state’s bifurcation.




Terms of reference on Telangana

n Examine the situation in AP with reference to demand for separate Telangana state as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh.

n Review developments in the state since its formation and their

impact on the progress and development of different regions of the state.

n Examine the impact of recent developments in the state on different sections of people such as women, children, students, minorities, OBCs, SC and STs.

n Consult all sections of people, especially political parties and elicit their views on a range of solutions that would resolve the present difficult situation.

n Identify the key issues that must be addressed.

n Consult organisations of other civil societies such as industries, trade unions, farmer organisations, women students.

n Make any other suggestion and recommendations that the committee may deem appropriate.




Dec 31 deadline for Telangana panel to file report
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 12
The Ministry of Home Affairs today announced the terms of reference for the five-member Justice BN Srikrishna Committee, which has been given almost eleven months (December 31 deadline) to consult all sections of the society and submit report.

In what is a clear balancing act between the pro-Telangana lobby and groups wanting a status quo, the government said the panel will examine the situation in Andhra Pradesh in wake of demands for a separate state of Telangana and a unified AP. Though it may not go down well with the vocal “pro-Telangana” lobby, the balance was needed as the committee has to look into all aspects, said sources. The terms list out two other important issues that will form the core of reference. The panel will address the oft-repeated complaint of the Telengana region that it is being overlooked when it comes to development.

“It will review the developments in the state. The committee would also examine the impact of violent protests and bandhs in the state on different sections, including women, children, students, minorities and backward classes,” said the ministry spokesperson Onkar Kedia in statement here today.

Apart from talking to political parties, the committee will also consult representatives from industry, trade, farmers’ bodies and women organisations. The committee will also be free to make any other suggestion or recommendation that it may deem appropriate, the ministry added.



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