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United Andhra activists call for bandh as Congress clears Telangana


Preeti Singh, CNN-IBN
Jul 31, 2013 at 11:28am IST

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Hyderabad: A day after the Congress cleared the creation of Telangana, united Andhra Pradesh activists have called for a bandh in nine coastal districts of Andhra and four districts of Rayalaseema. Protestors have also threatened to stall bus services while a few schools are shut.

Heavy security has been deployed, but no prohibitory orders have been put in place. But life is normal in Hyderabad and Telangana districts.

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This comes as Telangana is all set to be 29th state of India. The ruling Congress on Tuesday reluctantly agreed to create a new state of Telangana by dividing India's 4th largest state Andhra Pradesh.

Earlier on Tuesday, the UPA partners met to formally endorse the division of Andhra Pradesh. It was followed by a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting chaired by Sonia Gandhi. The hour-long meeting gave its green signal to a new state. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which has been in the forefront of Telangana movement, welcomed the decision, but it was very cautious. However, TRS supporters broke into celebration as soon as the news of Congress giving the green signal for Telangana came out.

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TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao said that his party is fine with Hyderabad being the joint capital. "Certainly I am happy; it's wishes of the people. Now the Bill has to be finally passed. We are happy. Fine with Hyderabad as joint capital of both state," Rao said.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi hit out at the Congress-led UPA government for timing the Telangana decision just before the crucial 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Though Modi welcomed the decision on Telangana by calling it 'victory of people's power' but he did not waste the opportunity to criticise the Congress for delaying the decision over the statehood for Telangana over all these years.

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The announcement was received with a sense of loss by the people and politicians of Seemandhra and some parts of Andhra Pradesh also witnessed sporadic protests. The Bill proposing Telangana may not be introduced in the Monsoon Session of Parliament.

The 10 districts of Telangana region will be a part of the new state and Hyderabad will be a joint capital with Seemandhra for the next 10 years. The 10 districts in Telangana are Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Nalgonda, Hyderabad, Mahbubnagar, Rangareddy, Medak, Nizamabad. The 13 districts of Seemandhra are Srikakulum, Vizianagaram, Vishakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, Cuddapah, Chittoor, Ananthapur, Kurnool. Out of 42 Lok Sabha seats and 294 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradehs, Telangana is likely to have 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 Assembly seats.

The Congress has also assured Seemandhra that its concerns will be addressed. But, the real concern is Seemandhra's reluctance to cede state capital Hyderabad to Telangana. The TRS which had earlier promised to merge the party with the Congress is also miffed by the attitude of the Congress and eagerness to claim all the credit.

Hyderabad falls within the geographical boundaries of Telangana and Seeemandhra will face a very peculiar situation as it capital will be far away from its boundaries.

TRS leader KT Ramarao said that it is impractical to keep Hyderabad as capital of Andhra Pradesh as will not have geographical connect with the rest of state after Telangana's creation. "The CWC clearing Telangana is a welcome decision. We will wait for the Bill to be passed in Parliament. Hyderabad can be an interim capital," said Rao

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