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Telangana: More legislators quit amid crippling strike
NEW DELHI/HYDERABAD, JUL 5 (IANS):
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Published on 6 Jul. 2011 12:34 AM IST
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The political crisis in Andhra Pradesh deepened Tuesday with the resignation of four more parliament members and 18 legislators from Telangana even as the Congress leadership began talks with state leaders and a 48-hour shutdown crippled the region.
MPs of both the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) submitted their resignations.
TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao and his colleague Vijayshanti faxed their resignations to Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar while TDP MPs N. Nageswar Rao and Ramesh Rathore submitted their resignations to the speaker in Delhi.
With their resignations, the number of MPs who have resigned since Monday has gone up to 14.
Groups fighting for separate Telangana state stepped up pressure on MPs and MLAs who have not yet resigned.
Describing them as “traitors”, Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), TRS, BJP and other groups laid siege to the houses of MPs including union petroleum minister S. Jaipal Reddy and state legislators.
As the Telangana movement intensifies with mass resignations and the general strike, the Congress leadership in Delhi began talks with a group of state ministers and MPs to find a way out.
Congress general secretary incharge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad held a meeting with state leaders who wanted the process for formation of separate state to be initiated immediately in line with the Dec 9, 2009 statement.
Explaining the circumstances under which they had to take the drastic step, the state leaders made it clear that it was not possible for them to go back on it without a clear commitment from the government.
The meeting was inconclusive as Azad promised to convey their views to party president Sonia Gandhi and get back to them. Azad later had a meeting with Sonia Gandhi.
Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and Jaipal Reddy held a meeting with Telangana MPs and other leaders in the evening. Patel is scheduled to meet the Telangana leaders again at 11 p.m.
48-hr shutdown cripples Telangana
Meanwhile, a 48-hour shutdown called by JAC crippled Telangana on the first day. The shutdown, which was total in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana, was peaceful barring minor incidents.
Bus transport was paralysed while shops, business establishments and educational institutions were closed to press the central government to table a bill in parliament to carve out a separate state of Telangana.
The situation turned violent at Osmania University in Hyderabad as students clashed with the police while trying to take out a rally from the campus. The protestors pelted stones while the police retaliated with baton and teargas shells.
The pitched battles between police and students on the campus continued till late in the evening. The students damaged a police vehicle.
Police also arrested TDP and TRS leaders when they were heading towards the university campus.
TDP legislators were also arrested at Gun Park in front of the assembly building when they tried to stage a protest in violation of ban orders in the city.
Hyderabad police commissioner A.K. Khan told reporters that the situation in Hyderabad remained peaceful. He said 31 companies of central paramilitary forced were deployed in the city. “If necessary we will deploy more central forces,” he said.

 
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