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Cong MPs from Telangana go on hunger strike

CNN-IBN
Dec 27, 2010 at 01:48pm IST

New Delhi: Congress MPs from Telangana on Monday began a fast demanding withdrawal of police cases registered against all students and said they were not satisfied with the lifting of only 600 "minor cases".

Eleven Congress MPs and 20 legislators started fasting at Gunpark in front of the state Assembly, rejecting the appeal made by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy last night, asking the Parliamentarians not to undertake the proposed

fast.

"This is not a protest against our own government. The students are not hardcore criminals. One year has passed since we are making this demand. This is a self-infliction to bring moral pressure on our government," Congress Rajya Sabha member K Keshavrao said.

The Congress MPs have threatened to resign if the Srikrishna Committee does not recommend a separate Telangana state.

Andhra Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on Sunday night tried to dissuade Congress MPs from going on a fast over the Telangana issue and the withdrawal of police cases against students. But MPs rejected Reddy's request.

Senior Andhra Congress leader Keshav Rao said that they will not drop their demand for Telangana state.

"Our demand is for a separate Telangana state and there will be no compromise. We are demanding for the withdrawal of cases against the students. It has been more than one year but no cases have been withdrawn against the students. We need the reason why central forces come when no one had violated the law. They only provoked people," said Rao.

Meanwhile, Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao has said that his sources have told him that the Committee is unlikely to make a concrete recommendation for the formation of the state, and will instead only list the pros and cons of such a decision.

The TRS is planning a week of protests in January anticipating the decision.

"The MLAs have decided to sit on fast if the Telangana bill is not moved in Parliament in the next session. We will submit our resignations," said Rao while addressing a meeting of the steering committee of Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC).

Protests would be held in front of district collector offices on January 10, followed by road blockades on January 17, he said.

Indefinite relay hunger strikes would start from January 21 across Telangana, he said, adding the JAC would decide on undertaking non-cooperation movement as part of the agitation.

Stating that separate protest programmes announced by the students of Osmania University were resulting in problems, he suggested that all should work under the auspices of the JAC.

The Srikrishna Committee will submit its report on whether to form a separate state of Telangana on December 31.

(With PTI inputs)

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