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Cong pulls out of all-party panel on Telangana
Published on 19 Feb. 2010 11:06 PM IST
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The struggle for a separate Telangana state Friday received a setback with Congress leaders from the region deciding to walk out of the all-party Joint Action Committee (JAC) and chalk out their own course of action. A meeting of Congress ministers, parliamentarians and state legislators from the Telangana region decided to form the Telangana Congress Action Committee. “We were so far working with the JAC, but from today (Friday) we will have our own action committee to organise programmes at various levels,” Congress legislator and former minister Jana Reddy told reporters here. The party leaders were unhappy with the JAC for directing all elected representatives from the region to resign over the terms of reference of the Srikrishna Committee formed by the central government to look into the Telangana state issue. They also took exception to JAC activists laying siege to their houses to pressurise them to resign. So far, only 15 out of 110 legislators from Telangana have submitted their resignations and assembly Speaker N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has accepted resignations of 12 of them, including all 10 of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). Only two of the 50 Congress legislators from Telangana submitted their papers. The Congress central leadership is trying to convince both of them to withdraw their resignations. While the Congress leaders have refused to resign, those from opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) sent their papers to JAC convenor M. Kodandaram to build pressure on the ruling party. The meeting of Congress leaders also decided to request the central leadership to reduce the tenure of the Srikrishna panel. It asked for the panel’s report by Sep 30 instead of Dec 31. Meanwhile, Kodandaram reiterated that only the resignations of elected representatives could force the central government to initiate the process of formation of Telangana state as per its Dec 9 statement, which said the process for a separate Telangana state will be initiated soon. AP claims Naxals role in Telangana Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday claimed Maoists have infiltrated into the movement for a separate Telangana state as the Supreme Court stayed the State High Court’s direction for withdrawal of paramilitary forces from Osmania University campus, the hotbed of the agitation. However, Justice Singhvi, who heads a two-member bench of the apex court, said “I don’t think there are any Naxalites in the university.” The bench, which also has Justice T S Thakur, stayed the high court direction till February 23 and directed the State Home Secretary to “supervise” the paramilitary forces and ensure they do not misbehave with the students in any manner. The apex court however, turned down the plea of senior counsel Harish Salve appearing for the state and Prashant Bhushan for students that the direction against “misbehaviour” should also cover the journalists who also were allegedly assaulted in a brutal manner by the paramilitary forces. “At the moment, we are concerned with the students,” Justice Singhvi said while refraining from passing any direction for protection of journalists as sought by the two counsel. Earlier, assailing the February 16 high court order, Salve claimed “We have a strong perception that Maoists have infiltrated the university and are creating trouble.” Salve said the recent killing of police personnel in West Bengal and Naxalite violence in Chattisgarh and other places are clear indications that Maoists are behind the largescale violence being witnessed in Andhra Pradesh over separate Telangana state.

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