Telangana groups call for protests at Srikrishna visit

Hyderabad, March 2 (IANS) The Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising various political and apolitical groups of the region, Tuesday called upon people to stage protests against the central government during the Srikrishna Committee’s visit to Hyderabad.

JAC convener M. Kodandaram appealed to people to hold peaceful protests during the committee’s visit to Hyderabad March 4-5.

The five-member committee headed by Justice Srikrishna, formed by the central government last month to study the demand for a separate Telangana state, is visiting Hyderabad for the first time to elicit opinion of political parties and other social groups.

The JAC has already rejected the terms of reference of the committee, saying these were not favourable to formation of a separate Telangana state as it has also been asked to look into the demand to maintain the present status of Andhra Pradesh.

Kodandaram asked both the ruling Congress and the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to make clear their stands on the Telangana issue. He alleged that the Congress was trying to divide pro-Telangana forces.

The Congress party recently dissociated itself from the JAC as the latter had demanded the resignation of all elected representatives to protest the terms of reference of the Srikrishna Committee.

The Srikrishna panel has sought the opinion of eight masjor and recognised political parties of Andhra Pradesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is also a part of the JAC, has decided not to make any representation saying the Srikrishna panel had no legal status.

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), whose state legislators resigned en masse to protest the Srikrishna panel’s terms of reference, is also not likely to appear before the panel. Both the Congress and the TDP may voice their opinions.

While leaders of these parties from Telangana are demanding separate statehood to Telangana, their counterparts from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are opposed to the bifurcation of the state.

The JAC is demanding that the central government initiate the process for formation of Telangana in line with its statement made Dec 9.

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