New Delhi/Hyderabad: After failing to get any assurance from Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh over a separate Telangana state, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)
chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao Monday rejected his appeal to call off
the strike and decided to intensify the agitation.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, told reporters that he may also go
on a "fast unto death" to intensify the movement for a separate
"The strike will not be called off under any circumstances," he
told reporters after meeting the prime minister in New Delhi. "The
strike would continue till there is a roadmap for separate
Telangana," he added.
The public agitation called by Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC)
to press for a Telangana state in Andhra Pradesh entered its 21st
"We are not satisfied. The prime minister did not give any
assurance. We will continue to fight," said the MP, who was
leading a delegation of JAC leaders.
The delegation urged the prime minister to direct the state
government to pay salaries to striking employees on humanitarian
grounds. It also complained that the government was deliberately
resorting to power blackouts for farmers in Telangana and using
repressive methods against the leaders of Telangana movement.
The TRS chief, who also met Bharatiya Janata Party leader and
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Communist
Party of India general secretary A. B. Bardhan, accused Andhra
Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy of misleading the
people on the issue.
The prime minister's meeting with the TRS chief comes amidst talk
in political circles that the Congress is diluting its position on
the half-century old dispute and may move towards a solution
without losing political face.
Earlier, the prime minister met a delegation of Congress MPs and
legislators from the Andhra Pradesh region but did not give any
assurance to them.
During the 30-minute meeting, the Congress delegation told the
prime minister that the central government should announce a
time-frame for arriving at a decision on the issue, an MP, who was
in the delegation, told IANS.
Manmohan Singh told the Congress MPs that his government will make
all efforts to find a solution to the long-standing demand.
He said that he would talk to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and
place their demands before the Congress core committee.
The delegation is also learnt to have complained against Andhra
Pradesh chief minister's hostile stand to the Telangana demand.
Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in charge of Congress
affairs in Andhra Pradesh, had Friday submitted a detailed report
on the volatile situation in the state to Sonia Gandhi.
The report had recommended further consultations on the Telangana
issue. That was endorsed by the Congress core group, which met
The TRS chief, who has been camping in Delhi, Sunday held a sit-in
at Rajghat here in support of his party's demand for the creation
of a new Telangana state.
He also questioned the government's stance to hold "further
consultations" on the issue
In Andhra Pradesh, pro-Telangana activists forcibly stopped
vehicles moving from coastal Andhra towards Hyderabad and hurled
stones at private buses, damaging at least 20 of them in Nalgonda
district, police said.
Some activists were injured when police hit them with batons at
Nakrekal while one police official sustained critical injuries in
stone pelting by the mobs. There were no reports of injuries to
the passengers. Demanding separate statehood to Telangana,
activists also damaged a police vehicle.
Meanwhile, the chief minister warned that the leaders of the
Telangana movement would be responsible for any crop damage due to
electricity shortage, citing the ongoing general strike for a
The chief minister singled out the TRS chief and Telangana JAC
convener M. Kodandaram for his attack.
"If crops are damaged, Kodandaram and KCR will be responsible," he
said, urging the people of Telangana to strongly oppose them.
The indefinite strike in coal mines of state-owned Singareni
Collieries as part of the general strike in Telangana has affected
coal production and hit electricity generation at thermal power
Authorities have imposed power cuts on domestic, agriculture and
industrial sectors. A one-hour blackout has been imposed on
farmers, who earlier got seven hours of free electricity every