Hyderabad: The Telangana stir has intensified on Monday with activists and police clashing at Indira Park in Hyderabad. The Ranga Reddy district court has now admitted a petition against former home minister P Chidambaram and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde accusing them of cheating the people of Telangana with their statements. The court has directed the police to register a case.
Local Congress leaders are under increasing pressure following the Centre's statements on the delay on the decision on Telangana. "I'm disappointed with the delay, it is hard to swallow this. People have lost faith. I feel the party is trying to buy time," Congress leader Keshav Rao said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has also asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a time frame on Telangana. "The Prime Minister should give a time frame for a decision on Telangana," BJP President Rajnath Singh said. In fact, BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi also said, "The BJP will form Telangana within 24 hours of it coming to power."
Earlier on Monday, angry protestors clashed with the police at the Indira Park in Hyderabad, which has become the nerve centre of the pro-Telangana protests, with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leading a 36-hour relay strike. Agitating protestors also broke barricades.
The pro-Telangana activists are upset with yet another delay on the statehood issue and had threatened to intensify the protests in Hyderabad. Earlier on Sunday night too, a group of pro-Telangana activists gheraoed three Congress leaders of the region and allegedly pelted stones at their vehicles.
A group of pro-Telangana activists raised slogans against Congress MPs - Ponnam Prabhakar and G Vinod - as well as senior party leader K Keshava Rao when they went to Indira Park to express solidarity with protesters staging a 36-hour 'samaradeeksha' protest over the Telangana statehood issue.
The pro-Telangana activists gheraoed the leaders and demanded them to resign from the Congress party, even as another group of pro-Telangana activists allegedly pelted stones at their vehicles. Police on Sunday also fired tear gas on protestors at the Osmania University.
This came after the Centre deferred the Telangana decision once again on Sunday. After a meeting of top Congress leaders, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde issued a statement saying the consultation process is still on and a final decision cannot be reached now.
Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh accused the Centre of "betrayal" on the Telangana issue. Some Congress leaders were also critical of the statements in Delhi by Shinde and AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad. Effectively, the Union Home Minister's "deadline" for announcing the Centre's decision on the statehood issue ends on Monday, but his statement, coupled with that of Azad, came hours ahead and left many "disappointed".
(With additional information from PTI)