Telangana movement

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The Telangana movement refers to a group of related people and political activities organized to support the creation of a new state of Telangana, from the existing state of Andhra Pradesh in South India. The proposed new state corresponds to the Telugu-speaking portions of the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad State. The Union Cabinet on 7 February 2014 cleared the Bill for the creation of Telangana, clearing the way for its introduction in Parliament.[1] On February 18, Lok Sabha passed the Bill with Voice Majority. Subsequently, the bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on 20 February 2014.[2] As per the bill, Hyderabad will be the joint capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for first 10 years. The appointed day for creation of Telangana State is June 2nd, 2014.[3]

History[edit]

Map of India with the Telangana region highlighted in red

In December 1953, the States Reorganization Commission was appointed to prepare for the creation of states on linguistic lines.[4] The commission, due to public demand, recommended disintegration of Hyderabad state and to merge Marathi speaking region with Bombay state and Kannada speaking region with Mysore state. The States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) discussed pros and cons of the merger of Telugu speaking Telangana region of Hyderabad state with Andhra state. Para 374 of the SRC report said "The creation of Vishalandhra is an ideal to which numerous individuals and public bodies, both in Andhra and Telangana, have been passionately attached over a long period of time, and unless there are strong reasons to the contrary, this sentiment is entitled to consideration". Discussing the case of Telangana, para 378 of the SRC report said "One of the principal causes of opposition of Vishalandhra also seems to be the apprehension felt by the educationally backward people of Telangana that they may be swamped and exploited by the more advanced people of the coastal areas." In its final analysis SRC recommended against the immediate merger. In para 386 it said "After taking all these factors into consideration we have come to the conclusions that it will be in the interests of Andhra as well as Telangana, if for the present, the Telangana area is to constitute into a separate State, which may be known as the Hyderabad State with provision for its unification with Andhra after the general elections likely to be held in or about 1961 if by a two thirds majority the legislature of the residuary Hyderabad State expresses itself in favor of such unification."

After going through the recommendations of the SRC, the then Central Government led by Jawaharlal Nehru decided to merge Andhra state and Telangana to form Andhra Pradesh state on 1 November 1956 after providing safeguards to Telangana in the form of Gentleman's agreement.[citation needed]

Grievances of Telangana proponents

Proponents of a separate Telangana state feel that the agreements, plans, and assurances from the legislature and Lok Sabha over the last fifty years have not been honored, and as a consequence Telangana has remained neglected, exploited, and backward. They allege that the experiment of Andhra Pradesh to remain as one state has proven to be a futile exercise and that separation is the best solution.[5][6][7]

Views of political parties[edit]

In parenthesis (MP seats/MLA seats from Andhra Pradesh)[8][9]

In Favor Against Neutral
Indian National Congress (31/155) acg All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeenf(1/7) YSR Congressb (2/17)
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (2/17) Communist Party of India (Marxist) (0/1) Independents (0/2)
Bharatiya Janata Party (0/3)
Communist Party of India (0/4)
Lok Sattaad (0/1) [10]
Telugu Desam Partyae (6/86)
Independent (0/1)

(a) Parties which were in favor of Telangana state before 9 December 2009, but changed the stand to neutral on 10 December 2009, the day the process for formation of Telangana state was announced by central government and later retracted on 23 December.

(b) After 9 December 2009, Jagan Mohan Reddy as a Congress MP opposed the Telangana state formation. After he formed the YSR Congress party, it adopted a neutral stand.[11]

(c) The Praja Rajyam Party of actor-politician Chiranjeevi was against the division of the state, but merged into the Congress in 2011.

(d) Changed its stand in 2012 and said it will welcome the formation of a separate state as part of a comprehensive and amicable solution. It however states that the real issue is to improve the lives of people - even if a separate state is created or not.[12]

(e) During the all party meeting on 28 December 2012, TDP representatives gave a letter signed by its president to Home minister of India which said that the party had never withdrawn its letter to Pranab Mukherjee in 2008 which supported Telangana state formation.

(f) MIM wants the state to remain united. If division is unavoidable, the party wants a separate state of Rayala-Telangana with Telangana & Rayalseema regions along with Hyderabad as capital. They oppose Hyderabad being declared as a union territory.

(g) Congress working committee took the decision for the formation of Telangana state on July 30, 2013.

Pre-2004 Telangana protests[edit]

12 years after the formation of Andhra Pradesh, people of Telangana expressed dissatisfaction over how the agreements and guarantees were implemented.[13] On 19 January 1969, an all party accord was reached to ensure the proper implementation of Telangana safeguards. Telangana leaders were not satisfied with the accord. The movement became violent and in some instances police had to resort to firing to control the mobs.[14] The army had to be called in. After several days of talks with leaders of both regions, on 12 April 1969, Prime minister came up with an eight-point plan.[15] Telangana leaders rejected the plan and protests continued under the leadership of newly formed political party Telangana Praja Samithi in 1969 asking for the formation of Telangana. Under the Mulki rules in force at the time, anyone who had lived in Hyderabad for 15 years was considered a local, and was thus eligible for certain government posts. When the Supreme Court upheld the Mulki rules at the end of 1972, the Jai Andhra movement, with the aim of re-forming a separate state of Andhra, was started in Coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions.

On 21 September 1973, a political settlement was reached with the Government of India with a Six-Point Formula. It was agreed upon by the leaders of the two regions to prevent any recurrence of such agitations in the future. To avoid legal problems, constitution was amended (32nd amendment) to give the legal sanctity to the Six-point formula.[16]

In 1985, when Telangana employees complained about the violations to six point formula, government enacted government order 610 (GO 610) to correct the violations in recruitment. As Telangana people complained about non implementation of GO 610, in 2001, government constituted Girglani commission to look into violations.[17]

In 1997, the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) passed a resolution seeking a separate Telangana.[18]

In 2000, Congress party MLAs from the Telangana region who supported a separate Telangana state formed the Telangana Congress Legislators Forum and submitted momorandum to their president Sonia Gandhi requesting the support the Telangana state.[19]

A new party called Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), led by Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), was formed in April 2001 with the single-point agenda of creating a separate Telangana state with Hyderabad as its capital.[20]

In 2001, the Congress Working Committee sent a resolution to the NDA government for constituting a second SRC to look into the Telangana state demand. This was rejected by then union home minister L.K. Advani citing that smaller states were neither viable nor conducive to the integrity of the country.[21]

In April 2002, Advani wrote a letter to MP A. Narendra rejecting a proposal to create Telangana state explaining that "regional disparities in economic development could be tackled through planning and efficient use of available resources". He said that the NDA government, therefore, does "not propose creation of a separate state of Telangana"[22] However in 2012, Advani said that if their then partner TDP cooperated during NDA tenure, a separate state of Telangana could have been created.[23] This was confirmed by the President of the TDP, Chandrababu Naidu, on 1 September 2013 in a public meeting.[24]

2004 to 2010[edit]

In the run-up to the 2004 Assembly & Parliament elections, then Union Home Minister L. K. Advani ruled out inclusion of Telangana in the NDA agenda and said "Unless there is consensus among all political parties in the state and unless that consensus is reflected in a resolution of the state Assembly, we don’t propose to include it in the NDA agenda"[25]

For these elections, the Congress party and the TRS forged an electoral alliance in the Telangana region to consider the demand of separate Telangana State.[26] Congress came to power in the state and formed a coalition government at the centre; TRS joined the coalition after the common minimum program of the coalition government included that the demand for separate Telangana state will be considered after due consultations and consensus.[27]

In February 2009 the state government declared that it had no objection, in principle, to the formation of separate Telangana and that the time had come to move forward decisively on this issue. To resolve related issues, the government constituted a joint house committee.[28] In the lead-up to the 2009 General Elections in India, all the major parties in Andhra Pradesh supported the formation of Telangana.[29]

In the 2009 elections TRS managed to win only 10 assembly seats out of the 45 it contested and only 2 MP seats. Some media analysts thought Telangana sentiment faded.[30]

Within few months of getting re-elected as popular CM, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) died in a helicopter crash in September 2009. This resulted in a leadership crisis within the Congress party and also created a political vacuum in the state.[31] During this time, TRS president K. Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) raised his pitch for the separate state. On 29 November 2009, he started a fast-unto-death, demanding that the Congress party introduce a Telangana bill in Parliament.[32] Student organisations, employee unions, and various organisations joined the movement.[33] General strikes shut down Telangana on 6 and 7 December.[34] In an all party meeting called by the state government on the night of 7 December to discuss regarding KCR's fast and how to handle it,[35] all major Opposition parties extended their support for a separate state for Telangana. The state Congress and its ally Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen have left it to the Congress high command to take a final decision. Minutes of the meeting were faxed to Congress high command.[36]

Telangana State formation process announcement & subsequent rollback[edit]

On 9 December 2009, Union Minister of Home Affairs P. Chidambaram announced that the Indian government would start the process of forming a separate Telangana state, pending the introduction and passage of a separation resolution in the Andhra Pradesh assembly. This resulted in protests across both Andhra and Rayalseema. Students, workers, lawyers & various organizations in the regions launched the Samaikyandhra Movement demanding that the state be kept united.[37] MLAs from these regions also submitted their resignations in protest seeking a reversal of the home minister's statement.[38]

On 23 December, keeping in view the reactions of people of other regions, the Government of India announced that no action on Telangana will be taken until a consensus is reached by all parties and groups in the state.[39] Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema region MLAs started withdrawing their resignations while MLAs and ministers from Telangana started submitting their resignations, and demanded that the Centre take immediate steps to initiate the process of bifurcating Andhra Pradesh.[40]

A Joint Action Committee (also known as JAC or TJAC) comprising political and non-political groups was formed to lead the demand for separate Telangana with Osmania University professor M Kodandaram Reddy as its convenor.[41]

BJP leader and leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj in 2010 said that they would have formed the Telangana State along with Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Uttarakhand in year 2000 but the Telugu Desam, which extended outside support to it, opposed the plan.[42]

On 3 February, the government appointed a five-member committee headed by Justice SriKrishna to look into the issue.[43]

2010: Srikrishna Committee[edit]

The Srikrishna Committee toured all the regions of state extensively and invited people from all sections of the society to give their opinion on the statehood. It received over one lakh petitions and representations from political parties, organisations, NGOs and individuals. It also held consultations with political parties and general public while also factoring in the impact of recent developments on different sections of people such as women, children, students, minorities, Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.[44]

On 16 December 2010, two weeks before the deadline for the submission of the Srikrishna report, TRS organized a public meeting in Warangal. It was estimated that 1.2 to 1.5 million people[45] attended this meeting. It was reported that even more would have attended, but were stranded due to traffic jams along roads leading to the city.[46][47][48] TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to note that the people of Telangana were losing patience. He demanded that the Centre introduce the Bill on Telangana in the next session of Parliament.[49][50][51][52]

Days before the Srikrishna committee submitted its report to the Central government, KCR declared that his party was ready to wash Sonia Gandhi's feet if she agrees to the Telangana demand. He said his party is associated with the movement and was willing to dissolve the party if the state was formed.[53]

In an all-party meeting on 6 January 2011, which was boycotted by the TRS, BJP and TDP, the Home ministry released the 505-page Srikrishna committee . The report discusses six solutions to the problem. The preferred option is keeping the State united by simultaneously providing certain definite constitutional and statutory measures for socio-economic development and political empowerment of Telangana region through the creation of a statutorily empowered Telangana Regional Council. The second best option is bifurcation of the State into Telangana and Seemandhra as per existing boundaries, with Hyderabad as the capital of Telangana and Seemandhra to have a new capital.[54][55]

On 23 March 2011, Justice L Narasimha Reddy of Andhra Pradesh high court ordered central government to make contents of 8th chapter of Sri Krishna Committee, which was submitted in a sealed secret cover to the centre.[56] Justice in his 60 page judgement said "The Committee travelled beyond the terms of reference in its endeavour to persuade the Union of India not to accede to the demand for Telangana". The judgement also quoted the SKC report's 8th chapter and said "The manoeuvre suggested by the Committee in its secret supplementary note poses an open challenge, if not threat, to the very system of democracy."

On 26 April, a division bench comprising the Chief Justice of the AP high court has stayed the order of Justice L Narasimha Reddy who had directed the Centre to make public the secret Chapter.[57][58]

2011[edit]

Non-cooperation movement and Million March[edit]

On 17 February 2011 noncooperation movement was started which lasted for 16 days with participation by 300,000 government employees. It caused a loss of Rs 8 billion per day in revenue to government.[59][60] In February and March, Assembly session was boycotted for weeks and Parliament session was disrupted for several days by Telangana representatives.[61][62] [63]

Million March was organised by Telangana JAC in Hyderabad on 10 March 2010. In a move to disrupt the march, police arrested over thousand activists throughout the region and closed down entry to Hyderabad city by stopping certain transportation services and diverting traffic.[64][65][66] Around 50,000 people reached the venue of the march, Tank Bund by hoodwinking police.[67] Telangana activists damaged 16 statues of personalities representing Telugu culture language and threw some of the remnants into the lake.[68]

In November 2011, Telangana Rashtra Samiti Vidyarthi Vibhagam (TRSV) state president Balki Suman was arrested by Hyderabad police after cases were registered against him in connection with damaging statues on Tank Bund during the 'Million March,' attacking police personnel, damaging police and media vehicles.[69]

Mass resignations[edit]

From April till June, the movement saw a lull,[70] with different parties citing various reasons and fresh deadlines to renew the agitation. In July, 81 of 119 Telangana MLAs in the state, 12 out of 15 Telangana ministers in state, 13 out of 17 Telangana MPs in Lok Sabha, 1 Rajyasabha MP (Congress), 20 MLCs resigned protesting delay in the formation of Telangana. On 30 July 20-year-old Yadi Reddy was found dead 100 yards from Parliament House in Delhi. An eight-page suicide note says the young driver from greater Hyderabad region of Telangana was upset over the government not creating a new state for his homeland. The speaker of the AP assembly on 23 July summarily rejected the resignations of all 101 MLAs citing that they were made in an emotionally surcharged atmosphere. All Telangana MPs who earlier submitted their resignations and were boycotting the parliament session also decided to attend the parliament monsoon session citing Sonia Gandhi's ill health.[71]

Sakala Janula Samme[edit]

On 12 September 2011, a day before Sakala Janula Samme (All people's strike), TRS organised a public meeting in Karimnagar which was attended by over a million people including TJAC leaders, BJP and New Democracy party leaders.[72]

Starting 13 September, as part of 'strike by all section of people' supporting Telangana statehood, government employees throughout Telangana stayed out of work, lawyers boycotted courts[73] and 60,000 coal miners of Singareni Collieries (SCCL Ltd.) also joined the strike.[74][75] Soon government teachers, state road transport corporation employees and state electricity board employees joined the strike.[76][77]

On a call given by JAC, road blockades on national highways throughout Telangana, rail blockade and the strike of auto rikshaw union were organized on 24 and 25 September causing disruption in transport services.[78][79] Virtually all sections of people joined this strike.[80] On 30 September, as the strike entered the 18th day, even while Congress central leadership met several Telangana congress leaders, JAC called a bundh in Hyderabad city.[81] On 2 October, JAC leaders, employee unions leaders and TRS leaders including KCR met Prime minister to explain the situation in Telangna due to the strike and asked to expedite the decision on the statehood demand.[82] The strike has resulted in an unprecedented power crisis in the state with only 223 MU of power generated against the demand of 275MU impacting both the industry and agriculture.[83]

Due to Rail blockade call on 15 October 110 trains were cancelled and 68 trains were diverted by authorities. The railways operated 12 trains and Hyderabad metro trails with full police protection. Telangana protestors tried to have sit in on rail platforms or on railway tracks at various places. Police arrested thousands of protesters including 8 MPs and 4 MLAs.[84][85] On 16 October public transport employees called off the strike. Within days other unions too called off the strike one after another. After 42 days, on 24 October, remaining employees unions called off the strike. M. Kodandaram said that the strike had impacted the overall thinking of the Centre towards creation of separate State and the movement will continue with other protest activities.[86]

On 29 October 2011, three Congress party MLAs belonging to Telangana region resigned and joined TRS in protest as they were diappointed with Congress leadership's delay in Telangana state formation.[87]

On 1 November, Congress MLA Komatireddy Venkat Reddy started an indefinite hunger strike until the central government announced a roadmap for Telangana state.[88] 5 days later, the fast was broken when police arrested him under Section 309 of IPC (attempt to commit suicide) and shifted him to NIMS, Hyderabad where he was kept under intravenous fluids. He ended his fast on 9 November.[89] 97-year-old Freedom fighter Konda Laxman Bapuji also launched his week-long satyagraha at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, demanding statehood to the region.[90]

2012[edit]

In January, BJP led by State party president Kishan Reddy started the 22-day Telangana 'Poru Yatra', across 88 assembly constituencies stressing the need for Telangana stance.[91] Though the tour was successful in reiterating the party's pro-Telangana stance, it could not garner as much support as hoped because of the indifferent attitude of the TRS & TJAC. In fact the failure of the TRS in declaring its support to Kishan Reddy’s yatra has resulted in growing differences between the two parties.[92]

Bye elections took place on 18 March in 6 Telangana assembly seats. TRS won 4 out of 5 seats it contested with huge majorities ranging from 15,024 to 44,465. In 2 out of the 4 seats won by TRS (Kamareddy & Adilabad), the TRS candidates polled less number of votes compared to 2009 assembly elections when they contested as candidates from TDP which was in alliance with TRS.[93][94] Ex-TDP MLA Nagam Janardhan Reddy won from Nagarkurnool seat as an independent with TJAC support. Congress lost deposit in one constituency and TDP in 3 constituencies.[95][96]

Bye-polls were conducted for 18 Assembly seats and 1 Parliament seat on 12 June. The YSRCP won 15 assembly seats and the lone Parliament seat in Seema-Andhra region. TRS's candidate managed to win the Parkal seat with a slender majority of 1562 votes over YSRCP candidate Konda Surekha. TDP finished third after polling 30,000 votes and retained its deposit. Both BJP & Congress lost their deposits.[97][98]

In September 2012, Sushilkumar Shinde, the newly appointed Home minister of India commented that the Telangana demand needs to be handled carefully since similarly carved smaller states saw increased Naxal problems.[99] Addressing a public meeting in Nizamabad district, AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi said that formation of a separate Telangana state is not possible and reaffirmed his party's stand on the issue. He also said that Muslims would not accept a separate state.[100]

On 14 August 2012, KCR gave a deadline to the centre to declare statehood in 2 weeks and promised to launch another round of agitation if the centre doesn't.[101] He later declared that he got feelers that a positive announcement will be made by Eid.[102] In another interview after Eid, he remarked that Sonia Gandhi has always been in favour of Telangana and that the central government will call his party for discussions in "few weeks or so"[103] On 6 September, KCR left for Delhi and announced that the issue will be resolved by end of September.[104] After his 23-day stay in Delhi, KCR returned to Hyderabad hoping for a final round of talks with the Congress leadership on the issue. He claimed that his discussions with several leaders was fruitful.[105]

Telangana March[edit]

After setting 30 September as the deadline for the Centre to announce the formation of Telangana, the TJAC threatened to organize a 'Telangana March' in Hyderabad on the lines of the 'Dandi March' .[106][107] Anticipating violence and possibility of attack on properties of Andhraites,[108] Police initially refused permission to the march which is scheduled around the time of Ganesh Nimmajjan on 29 September and UN conference on Bio diversity[109] on 1 October.[110] The Police begun checking buses and trains entering the city and students who are trying to enter the city to participate in the protest are being sent back.[111] They identified troublemakers[108] and arrested certain pro-Telangana activists throughout the Telangana region. Police said that there are intelligence reports that the protestors could attack properties of people of Seemandhra.[112]

On 28 September, after long discussions between JAC leaders and ministers from Telangana region, the state government ignoring warnings about possible breakdown of law & order, gave permission to the March. The JAC leaders gave written assurance to the government that the agitation programme will be conducted in a peaceful and "gandhian" manner from 15:00 to 19:00 on 30 September on the Necklace road on the edge of Hussain Sager lake.[113][114] Indian Railways cancelled several express & passenger trains and all local and sub-urban train services in Hyderabad reportedly on the advise of Police.[115]

On 30 September, the day of the march, Police closed the gates and blocked students at the Osmania University gate and other protestors at several places in the city when they were proceeding in rallies towards the March venue. Congress MPs from Telangana were arrested in front of Chief minister's office when they staged a dharna as they were not allowed to meet him over the detention of their party supporters who were stopped from reaching the venue.[116]

Though police sealed all the entry points to the Necklace Road and opened only the Buddha Bhavan route, by 4pm around 2 lakh protestors including various party leaders and their supporters reached the venue from all routes. Coming under attack from both sides, the police ceded the entire Necklace Road to the protesters who marched on till Jal Vihar. According to the Police, the protesters torched two police vehicles at People's Plaza on the Necklace Road.[117] The mobs also set afire three police vehicles, a couple of media outdoor broadcasting vans, machinery and a temporary cabin room of a construction company.[118] The protesters made an attempt to set on fire a local train at Khairatabad station.[119] At the railway’s Hussainsagar junction cabin, around 1,000 Telangana supporters went on a rampage overpowering over 100 uniformed men stationed in the area and burnt down the cabin after manhandling railway staff. The entire signalling system was damaged and officials pegged the loss at around Rs. 60 lakh.[120][dead link]

After 19:00, TJAC leaders violated the deadline and refused to leave the venue till the government issues a statement on Telangana.[121] Police first used water cannons and later lobbed tear gas shells on the crowd and on to the stage to force the protestors to leave the venue.[122] Finally at midnight the JAC called off the March citing heavy rain and injured supporters.[123]

The next day, local police registered 15 cases against Kodandaram and others for conducting the march beyond the permitted time of 7 pm and till midnight and also for violence during the march. Railway police also registered cases against unidentified persons for damage to the signalling system at Lakdikapul. Cases were booked against the student leaders of TSJAC, OUJAC, Telangana Vidyarti Parishad and TVV.[120] The bandh drew little response in Hyderabad and was partial in Telangana districts. Osmania University students again resorted to stone throwing and police retaliated by using tear gas shells.[124][125]

All Party meeting in December[edit]

On 28 December 2012 a meeting was organised by Sushilkumar Shinde, Home minister of India to discuss the Telangana issue. It was atteneded by 8 political parties having significant presence in the state legislature. After hearing views of all the parties, the home minister said that this will be the last such meeting on this issue and that the government will come up with a decision within 30 days. In the meeting, MIM & CPI(M) reiterated their strong opposition to division of the state. YSR Congress remained neutral and requested the central government to take a decision. Congress representatives gave conflicting views, one supporting the division & one opposing it.[126][127][128] TDP representatives gave a letter signed by its president which said that it never withdrawn its letter to Pranab Mukharjee in 2008 supporting Telangana state formation.[129] Telangana JAC demanded more clarity from Telugu Desam before they allow TDP to be a member of JAC.[130]


2013[edit]

On 27 January the central home minister remarked that the consultation process was going on and that it may take little more time to reach a final decision.[131] The protests intensified in Telangana.

On 21 March, the TJAC organized road blockade of NH 7 in Mahbubnagar district protesting delay in Telangana state formation. Agitators were arrested by police for violating prohibitory orders and damaging public property.[132]

In April, five Congress MPs started a 48-hour sit-in protest at the entrance of the Parliament. The TJAC also conducated a rally ('Sansad Yatra') at Jantar Mantar, Delhi to highlight the movement at the national level.[133]

On 11 May, senior leader and politburo member Kadiyam Srihari quit TDP and joined TRS expressing displeasure over party's ambivalent stand on the Telangana statehood issue. He had represented the TDP at the all-party meeting in New Delhi on Telangana in December 2012.[134] Four days later, he joined TRS party and said he is doing so to pay back to his motherland by being part of the statehood movement.[135]

On 2 June, two Congress MPs G. Vivekanand and Manda Jagannath, and former state congress chief K. Keshava Rao formally joined the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) protesting the delay in the formation of Telangana.[136]

Chalo Assembly[edit]

In May 2013, the TJAC gave a call to lay siege to the state legislative Assembly in Hyderabad on 14 June 2013 to demand the formation of Telangana. Government refused permission to the march as they had information that anti-social elements might participate in the event and cause violence like in previous events of Sagara Haram and Million March where violence erupted despite promises made by the TJAC. Police made pre-emptive arrests of activists through the region which led do stalling of the assembly proceedings by opposition parties.[137] The chief minister directed the Director-General of Police at a high-level review meeting not to use even rubber bullets in their efforts and observe utmost restraint in maintaining law and order. Amid fear of violence by Naxalites after an open letter claimed to have been written by them on the rally,[138] police sounded a high alert across the state and almost sealed all the arterial roads leading to the Assembly. Over 25,000 policemen belonging to both central and state security forces were deployed. The TJAC leaders alleged that the government has been using repressive measures to prevent them from representing the aspirations of Telangana people in a peaceful manner.[139] Educational institutions declared a holiday and public transport went off the roads and shops and establishments shut as a precautionary measure.[140][141]

On the day of the event in spite of the restrictions placed, police could not totally prevent Telangana activists from sneaking into prime locations and making a vain bid to rush towards the Assembly.[142] Hundreds of people including state legislators, JAC Chaiman and other leaders were arrested across the city. Osmania University campus witnessed pitched battles as police closed the campus gate to stop students leaving campus in a rally then resorted to tear gas shelling when student started stone pelting. After the march, the TJAC Chairman remarked that their goal to reach Assembly complex and highlight their demand was fulfilled.[143]

Congress Core Committee Meeting[edit]

According to an internal survey reportedly done for the state government (cited by media sources in June), the Congress party will get around 35-40 seats out of 294 MLA seats in the state, with TRS ahead in Telangana region while YSRCP in the Seema-Andhra region. This survey was reportedly being considered to arrive at a decision on the statehood issue.[144]

On 30 June, Congress leaders belonging to Telangana region organized a public meeting in Hyderabad with a turn out of over 100,000 to show their support to Telangana state. It was attended by Damodar Raja Narasimha, Deputy Chief minister of the state, central ministers, state ministers, MPs & MLAs who expressed the confidence that their party leadership will create the separate state soon and said that Congress will perform well in next elections in such a situation.[145][146][147]

On 1 July, Congress party's in-charge of the state, Digvijay Singh said that party is at the final stages of taking decision on Telangana issue. He also directed state chief minister, deputy chief minister and state party president (they represent assembly constituencies in Rayalaseema, Telangana and Coastal Andhra regions respectively) to furnish a roadmap, keeping both options open, that could help lead to a decision.[148] On 11 July the three leaders presented their views in the Congress core committee meeting, post which it was announced that a decision will be taken by the Congress Working Committee.[149][150]

The Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy met several MPs, MLAs and MLCs on 29 July in a bid to resolve the issue being taken up by the central Congress government.[151]

Congress Working Committee resolution on bifurcation[edit]

On 30 July, the Congress Working Committee unanimously passed a resolution for the creation of Telangana and requesting the central government make steps in accordance with the constitution of India to form Telangana within a definite timeframe. Andhra Pradesh and the newly formed Telangana will share Hyderabad as their common capital for 10 years.[152] Ongole was suggested as a future capital of Andhra Pradesh.[153] The committee also assured that the concerns of people from the remaining regions regarding sharing of water and power resources will be addressed. The bifurcation decision sparked off fresh protests as part of the Samaikyandhra Movement.

TRS welcomed the decision and its chief K. Chadrashekhar Rao said that his party is fine with Hyderabad being the joint capital.[154] This was seen as an attempt by the INC to merge TRS into itself for the general and provincial election after being marginalised in the Rayalseema and coastal regions by the YSR Congress.[155] A BJP state level leader gave credit for the move to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi by saying that the move by Congress was in reaction to Modi's tour to Hyderabad on 11 August.[156] BJP national level leaders reacted by saying that the move was under pressure[157] and that their party supports the creation of Telangana and Vidarbha. They demanded that other requests for the creation of new states such as those of Gorkhaland and Bodoland need to be done by appointing a Second States Reorganisation Commission earlier too. We now demand that the government should set it up and seek a report within a specific timeframe.[158]

Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, whose represents a constituency in Rayalseema, was reportedly upset with the decision. Protesters from the coastal regions and Rayalseema were expected to agitate against the partition decision and an additional 1,000 paramilitary soldiers were sent to both the regions. The issue of the creation of the state was seen as parallel to the failing opinion poll figures for the Congress party in the upcoming Indian general election, 2014.[159] YSR Congress party leader Jaganmohan Reddy said that he opposed the decision and would agitate against it,[160] as all its MLAs resigned over the issue.[161] However, former party member Konda Surekha attacked the party and its leader saying that he had backtracked on plenary party meeting supporting the issue.[162]

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha also reacted in announcing an indefinite strike in calling for Gorkhaland. GJM President Bimal Gurung also resigned from the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration in demand for Gorkhaland and citing West Bengal government interference in its autonomy.[163] It was even speculated by the media that more such moves could gain steam, such as that by the Bundelkhand Mukti Morcha for Bundelkhand.[164] Meanwhile, the national Home Ministry said that due to the lack of development in the proposed areas and the proximity to other hotbeds in Chattishgarh's Bastar and Maharashtra's Gadhidoli regions it could turn into a hotbed for the activities of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) if the administration is not quickly consolidated.[165]

The next steps towards the re-formation of Telangana, expected by early 2014, are: The national cabinet sharing its plans with the President of India and the Andhra Pradesh legislature. The Prime Minister would then organise a committee to negotiate a consensus between the leaders from the three regions for issues such as sharing revenue and water. Both national houses of parliament would then have to pass a resolution to create Telangana.[166]

Cabinet approval of Telangana state[edit]

3 October 2013, Union Cabinet approved the creation of a new State of Telangana by bifurcating the existing State of Andhra Pradesh. Union Cabinet has also approved the setting up of a Group of Ministers (GoM) to go into the various issues which concern both the States including setting up of a new capital for the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh.[167] Hyderabad will start out as a shared capital for 10 years, after which it will belong to Telangana, said the Home Minister.[168][169]

On 8 October, recently retired director general of police Dinesh Reddy said the Chief minister, Kiran Kumar Reddy pressured him to issue a public statement that the creation of Telangana would lead to intensification of Maoist activities. He also charged that the CM had reprimanded him for seeking additional central forces for containing expected trouble in Seemandhra in the run up to the Congress Working Committee's Telangana resolution at the end of July.[170]

2014[edit]

Telangana issue in Elections 2014[edit]

On 30 July 2013, the Congress Working Committee unanimously passed a resolution for the creation of Telangana. It formally requested the INC-led central government to make steps in accordance with the constitution of India for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and the re-creation of Telangana. This was seen as an attempt by the INC to merge the Telangana Rashtra Samiti into itself for the general and provincial election after being marginalised in the Rayalseema and coastal regions by the YSR Congress. All-India Congress Committee general secretary for Andhra Pradesh Digvijay Singh said that TRS leader K. Chandrashekhar Rao had "repeatedly said that once Telangana was announced, he would merge his party with the Congress. We will await his decision and will be favourably inclined to accept the offer of a merger."[171] TRS welcomed the decision, with Rao saying that his party was fine with Hyderabad being the joint capital for 10 years;[172] Ongole was then suggested as the new capital of Andhra Pradesh.[173] YSR Congress party leader Jaganmohan Reddy said that he opposed the decision and would agitate against it,[174] as all its MLAs resigned over the issue.[175] However, former party member Konda Surekha attacked the party and its leader saying that he had backtracked on plenary party meeting supporting the issue.[176] Andhra Pradesh BJP president G. Kishan Reddy gave credit for the move to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in saying that the INC took active interest in the issue after Modi had announced a tour to Hyderabad for 11 August.[177] The BJP national spokesperson Prakash Javadekar suggested that the INC move was under pressure and "that's why we will watch carefully and see whether the intention again to backstab or to really give Telangana, and will watch till Telangana is formed."[178] He added that the BJP supports the creation of "Telangana and Vidarbha's demand. [The] announcement is the victory of the people of Telangana. BJP has always been in favour of Telangana. Congress promised it in 2004 but dilly-dallied for nine years. It has been a story of the struggle of the people of Telangana and nine years of betrayal by the Congress. The NDA's agenda in 1999 promised creation of three states, and it was honoured. The Congress, in contrast, made a promise in 2004 but betrayed people for nine years." BJP national President Rajnath Singh re-iterated support and added, in regards to requests for the creation of Gorkhaland and Bodoland, "We were in favour of the Second States Reorganisation Commission earlier too. We now demand that the government should set it up and seek a report within a specific timeframe.[179] The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha also reacted in announcing an indefinite strike in calling for Gorkhaland.[180] Meanwhile, the national Home Ministry said that due to the lack of development in the proposed areas and the proximity to other hotbeds in Chhattishgarh's Bastar and Maharashtra's Gadchiroli regions it could turn into a hotbed for the activities of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) if the administration is not quickly consolidated.[181] In February, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned over the proposal to partition the region. He would launch the Samaikyandhra party on 2 March. Three of his cabinet colleagues – Erasu Pratap Reddy, T. G. Venkatesh and Ganta Srinivasa Rao – were set to join the Telugu Desam Party. Further, Satrucharla Vijaya Rama Raju quit the INC and was considering a similar move.[182] Men's rights organisations have submitted their demands to all major[which?] political parties under a "Men-ifesto."[183] to press their demand for gender equal laws.

Group of Ministers for state formation[edit]

Govt of India set up the "Group of Ministers"(GOM) headed by union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde to address all the issues that need resolution at the central and state government levels during the formation of Telangana state. GOM met on 11 October for the first time released its terms of reference]] on 16 Oct.[184] GOM met 2nd time on 19 October and considered the background notes which had been prepared by the Home Ministry regarding the various issues pertaining to the bifurcation. It also asked feedback from public to send their suggestions pertaining to the specific terms of reference before 5 November.[185] On 29 October, the background notes prepared by Home ministry for GOM appeared in the media.[186] On 30 October, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde called for an all-party meeting, to be attended by representatives of national and regional parties of the state, to discuss the issues related to bifurcation.[187] In a letter to 8 major political parties in the state, home ministry asked the parties to submit their suggestions to the GoM by 5 November, following which an all-party meeting will be held.[188] On 13-14 November GOM met the representatives all parties of the state to discuss (TDP boycotted the meeting) about the issues related to bifurcation.[189][190] GOM had meetings including some with CM, Deputy CM, cabinet ministers from the state and other state leaders while finalizing the Telangana draft bill.[191]

On 3 December, Talk of including 2 Rayalaseema districts, Ananthapur district and Kurnool district, in Telangana state by GOM was criticized by pro Telangana groups. TRS and JAC called for Telangana wide bandh (strike) on 5 December 2013 which had a good response.[192]

On the evening of 5 December 2013, cabinet approved the Telangana draft bill prepared by Group of Ministers (GoM). The bill have to approved by Parliament before it becomes 29th state of the union.[193] Highlights of the Bill are [194]

  • Telangana will have 10 districts(including Hyderabad) and the rest of Andhra Pradesh will have 13 districts
  • Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation area will remain the common capital for both states for a period not exceeding 10 years.
  • An expert committee will identify the alternative capital for Seemandhra region within 45 days of the gazette notification; a joint public service commission will be in place for the two states.
  • Both states will have special status under Article 371-D of the Constitution for equitable opportunities.

Process of state formation[edit]

On 6 December Union home ministry sent the Telangana draft bill to President.[195] On December 11, President reviewed the bill and sent it to Andhra Pradesh state assembly to elicit its views; gave 42 days or until January 23 to respond. The bill was flown in special plane and was hand delivered to Assembly Secretariat by senior officer (joint secretary) of Union home ministry on December 12. Given the Assembly is divided on regional lines with Seemandhra leaders including the Chief minister, Kiran Kumar Reddy who wanted the state to be united are opposing the bill, a stormy session is expected.[196] On 16 December, Telangana draft bill was introduced in Andhra Pradesh state assembly by deputy speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka in speakers absence amid ruckus by Seemandhra MLAs.[197] On December 17, though whole day's assembly's proceedings were disrupted by seemandhra MLAs, Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the state assembly, over the objections of Seemandhra leaders, decided to discuss the Bill starting next day. Telangana leaders want to discuss the bill, sent it back to President and get the bill passed in Parliament as soon as possible. Seemandhra leaders want to delay the discussion as long as possible and hoping that the Telangana bill is not passed in Parliament before the next Parliament elections were declared sometime in March 2014.[198][199] Assembly proceeding continue to be disrupted by Seemandhra leaders on December 18 and 19. On December 19, Speaker, Nadendla Manohar adjourned the house until January 3 to which Telangana MLAs protested.[200] Telangana and Seemandhra leaders met President Pranab Mukherjee who is at Rashtrapati Nilayam in Hyderabad for winter, to convey their grievances. Seemandhras leaders sought to bring to his notice ‘loopholes’ in the Telangana Bill, their Telangana counterparts complained to him about the “strong arm” tactics being adopted by the former to prevent a meaningful debate in assembly.[201]

On 1 January, 2 days before the next assembly session starts, Chief minister divested the portfolio of legislative affairs from D Sridhar Babu, who hails from Telangana and given to S Sailajanath, Seemandhra leader who is actively involved with anti-Telangana movement. The move was cricized by all Telangana leaders and Sridhar Babu resigned from the cabinet in protest.[202] Assembly proceedings continue to be disrupted by Seemandhra leaders on January 3 and 4.[203][204]

Due to continued disruption of assembly proceedings, on January 6, speaker asked members to submit written amendments, if any, to the clauses of the Bill by January 10.[205] On January 8, Seemndhra MLAs belonging to TDP and congress agreed to participate in the debate and debate continued for few minutes before YSRCP MLAs belonging to Seemandhra disrupted the proceedings inisting on united AP resolution before any debate.[206]

On January 9, debate continued only after YSRCP MLAs were suspended. While there was polarization on regional lines, debate more or less turned into a blame game over the state bifurcation issue as every party indulged in a game of political one-upmanship. Congress leader from Seemandhra and minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar spoke opposing the Telangana bill and said bifurcation is against Seemandhra interests.[207][208] On January 10, debate started after YSRCP members staged walk out. Among others, TRS floor leader, E Rajender spoke in length supporting Telangana bill while highlighting the grievances of Telangana people and the history of the movement. CPI floor leader G Mallesh, Congress leader from Telangana and government chief whip Gandra Venkaramana Reddy spoke supporting Telangana bill. House was adjorned until January 17.[209] After January 17, debate had less disruptions. Chief Minister requested the President 4week additional time for the debate a move opposed by Telangana leaders.[210] On January 23, President gave 7days extension, until January 30, for assembly to give its views on Telangana draft bill.[211]

Between January 23 and 25 Chief minister spoke in assembly several times opposing Telangana bill. He gave various statistics trying to show there is no injustice to Telangana. Telangana MLAs tried to disrupt his speech and said his figures are wrong and he is misleading the house and the people.[212] On January 25, Chief minister said Telangana bill was full of holes and defective. Telangana leaders criticized him for his comments and asked why he allowed the debate all these days when he thinks the bill is defective and why he asked President for extension.[213]

On January 27, Chief minister Kirankumar Reddy, gave notice to assembly speaker requesting to move resolution rejecting the Telangana bill. The move was criticized by Telangana MLAs including the ministers and deputy chief minister saying that cabinet was not consulted on the subject. They said this "amounts to defying the Union Cabinet, Constitution and President". After this, no debate was possible in the assembly as Telangana members insisted that speaker reject the Chief minister's notice.[214]

On 30 January 2014, Andhra Pradesh assembly speaker declared that assembly completed the debate and all the members gave their views. He said, he would send to the President of India a compilation of 9,072 suggestions and amendments he received in writing from members, including 87 members who had spoken on the Bill in the house. Further he accepted the Chief minister's notice of resolution to reject the AP Reorganization Bill and declared that resolution passed by voice vote without even waiting for the MLAs in the house to say ‘aye’, admist pandemonium and protests from Telangana MLAs. Earlier in the day Seemandhra members rushed to the well of the House demanding that the resolution moved by the CM, without cabinet approval, be put to vote, those from the Telangana region, including the ministers and deputy chief minister, did the same with the demand that there should be no voting. At 11.30 pm, in what appears to be a coordinated strategy between the speaker, the chief minister and the Seemandhra legislators, all the members from that region converged at the well of the House and formed a wall around the speaker even as Manohar read out the resolution, put it to voice vote and declared it as having been passed. The bill will now be sent back to President Pranab Mukherjee after which it is slated to be tabled in Parliament.[215][216][217] The resolution was placed in the house and was declared passed within 15 seconds.[218] Analysts say "rejection of Telangana bill" is not valid and is useful only for political grand standing.[219] Union cabinet minister Jaipal Reddy said that the resolution to reject the Telangana bill was passed in the assembly by cheating and it has no statutory and political sanctity.[220] General secretary of Congress Party and party's in-charge for Andhra Pradesh, Digvijay Singh said that the bill that the President sent to the Assembly was never meant to be put to vote and said that the Congress high command and the Center would go ahead with its plans to introduce and pass the Telangana Bill in Parliament during the forthcoming session.[221]

On February 4, GOM cleared the Telangana bill after making few amendments to it based upon the input from state assembly.[222]

On February 7, Union cabinet cleared the Telangana bill and plans to introduce in upper house of Parliament with 32 amendments. Amendments include the details of financial package to Seemandhra to address their concerns.[223]

On February 13, Telangana bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, by Union home minister, Sushilkumar Shinde despite protests, disruptions of Seemandhra MPs. In an unprecedented incidence, the use of pepper spray by Seemandhra MP, Lagadapati Rajagopal in the Lok Sabha during the introduction of the bill caused all the members to leave the house and some members to be hospitalized.[224]

On February 18, 2014, the Telangana Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha with support from the BJP.UPA govenment have taken this issue as a challenge so they closed all the doors of parliament and stopped Live telcast during the declaration of T-state. [225] On February 20, the Telangana bill was passed by Rajya Sabha with the support form the BJP. [226] The bill received the assent of the President and published in the gazette on 1 March 2014. [227] On 4 March 2014 the Government of India declared that June 2 would be the Telangana Formation Day.[228] It will then become the 29th state of India.

In popular culture[edit]

Literature
Film

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 17°59′N 79°35′E / 17.99°N 79.59°E / 17.99; 79.59