BBC NEWS | 2010/01/05 | 14:58:59 GMT
Indian political parties meeting to discuss a “road map” for the proposed new state of Telangana have ended talks in Delhi without a breakthrough. The eight parties issued a joint statement appealing for calm. Telangana would be carved out of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh and there have been protests for and against it in recent weeks. The Indian government announced the proposal in early December, but later said more consultations were needed.
‘Appeal for peace’
Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram said Tuesday’s talks had been “a good meeting and everybody expressed their views.” More consultations would be held, he said. “It is quite clear that views of political parties are divided. I summed up their views and will take them to the prime minister and formulate a course of action,” the NDTV channel quoted him as saying. The leaders of the political parties who attended the meeting called for calm in Andhra Pradesh. “It is our earnest appeal that peace, harmony and law and order should be maintained in the state,” their statement said. Correspondents say there are deep divisions within political parties over the Telangana issue and a consensus was not expected. Continue reading
Indian Express | Yahoo News |Tue, Jan 5 2010 | 07:12 AM
On the eve of the first meeting convened by the Centre to hold consultations on Telangana, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and other pro-statehood camps on Monday flagged their determination not to allow any delay in the creation of India’s 29th state, but sharp divisions in other political parties suggested that the outcome could be a long-drawn process. Out of the eight recognised parties called by the Home Ministry, three (TRS, CPI and BJP) have openly voiced support for Telangana, two (CPM and Praja Rajyam) have publicly opposed it, two (Congress and TDP) have taken ambivalent positions while the MIM will take a stand only after seeing which way the meeting turns. At the meeting that will be attended by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah and chaired by Home Minister P Chidambaram, the TRS will cite the government’s December 9 announcement to demand that Telangana be created. “The government has announced its policy on Telangana. It should follow it up with constitutional process. A resolution should be moved in Parliament,” TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao told reporters after he called on CPI leader A B Bardhan here on Monday.
“It is a single-point agenda for us. Create Telangana under Article 3 of the Constitution,” TRS leader and former MP B Vinod Kumar told The Indian Express. The CPI too has favoured formation of Telangana, though it has made it clear that it is not in favour of other smaller states and has said it will oppose constitution of a second States Reorganisation Commission. “We support a separate Telangana. Its formation is Continue reading
BBC NEWS | 2009/12/14 | 16:05:10 GMT
India’s government said last week it would allow a new state to be created from part of what is now the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Historian Mahesh Rangarajan looks at possible fall-out from the move. The near total political paralysis of one of India’s largest states, Andhra Pradesh, over its proposed carve-up, raises fresh questions about how the world’s largest democracy will handle questions of identity and territory in this young century. Telangana, the new state proposed, is not a fresh demand, but even as it seems closer than ever to materialising, it opens a Pandora’s Box in a vast country of over a billion people. It is not numbers, but diversity that has always been the challenge for India. In 1956, less than a decade after independence, India embarked on a redrawing of most internal boundaries on linguistic lines. Half a century later, most if not all people in states throughout much of the west, south and east of the country speak the same tongue.
Language defining nationhood was passed in Europe’s history. But in a country which now has as many as 18 official languages, linguistic divisions took place within a nation state and not on its international borders. The issue of the Telangana region shows how the arrangement, over half a century old, is under the scanner. One simple reason is the vastness of India’s larger states. Its most populous province, Uttar Pradesh, has over 170 million people, almost as many as Pakistan. Its chief minister, Mayawati, has been quick to call for its re-division, a Continue reading
BBC NEWS | 2009/12/24 | 05:33:39 GMT
The opening day of a two-day strike by the supporters of a new state has brought violence to parts of India’s southern Andhra Pradesh state. Over 100 buses were burnt, and shops and businesses attacked overnight. The strike was called after the federal government said the demand for a Telangana state would be considered after consultation with all parties. Earlier the government had announced that it would allow the creation of Telangana irrespective of opposition. An estimated 35 million people will live in the new state. K Chandrasekara Rao of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), which is spearheading the protest for a Telangana state, has resigned from the lower house of parliament, along with two other MPs from the region.
Fifty lawmakers from the Telangana region and belonging to the Andhra Pradesh assembly have also handed in their resignations. The latest uproar and strike call followed federal Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement on Wednesday evening that all political parties should be consulted before deciding on a new state. Mr. Chidambaran explained the government’s change in stance by saying that the situation in Andhra Pradesh had “altered” since he had made an announcement earlier this month on the formation of a Telangana state. He said a Continue reading
Reuters | HYDERABAD | Thu Dec 24, 2009 | 4:48pm IST
Protesters demanding a new state be carved in southern India shut down the IT hub of Hyderabad while local lawmakers began resigning en masse which could force the government to call a mid-term poll. India air-lifted central police from New Delhi as students clashed with policemen leaving about a dozen injured. About 82 lawmakers in the 294 Andhra Pradesh state assembly also resigned. The protests came after the Congress-ruled central government appeared to backtrack from its original decision to allow the creation of Telangana, placing the decision in the hands of the state legislature.
In early December, the government in a surprise move announced it would push for the formation of a Telangana state after violent protests and a hunger strike by a leading politician shut down Hyderabad. The Congress party, which rules the state, convened an all party meeting in Hyderabad to resolve the crisis in a move experts said was aimed at avoiding a mid-term poll or central rule. “A mid-term poll or even central rule is something the Congress party does not want as it will damage their popularity,” said N. Bhaskara Rao of the Centre for Media Studies. Continue reading
MSN News | 23/12/2009
The Centre on Wednesday night shoved the vexatious issue of Telangana on to the backburner blaming other political parties, mainly the TDP and Praja Rajyam Party, for changing the rules of the game post December 9 statement on the issue. In a carefully worded statement read out before the media in New Delhi, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram refused to give any reference or assurance on separate statehood for Telangana and said that the issue will have to be discussed with all parties before a consensus is arrived. He appealed to all parties, students and others to maintain peace and calm in Andhra Pradesh and allow the government to focus on development issues.
Soon after the statement, there was tension in Osmania University campus – the hotbed of the pro-Telangana agitation. Shops in the area around the university were forced to shut down. Chidambaram indirectly blamed the TDP and the PRP for making a U-turn on the Telangana statehood issue. It may be recalled that the TDP and PRP had initially given full support for Telangana statehood, but later did a complete U-turn on the issue as MLAs from the coastal and Rayalaseema regions submitted their resignation. Continue reading
Reuters | Mon Dec 14, 2009 | 4:27pm IST
Thousands marched in ports and towns of southern Andhra Pradesh to protest plans to carve out a new state, as a backlash grew against demands for statehood in a challenge for the Congress party-led government. The government said last week that it would push for the formation of a Telangana state after a week of violent protests and a hunger strike by a leading politician shut down business in the state’s high-tech Hyderabad city. In coastal towns and cities, protesters marched, waving red flags and placards saying: “We want united Andhra Pradesh.” Lawmakers shouted slogans against Telangana inside the state assembly in Hyderabad, prompting the speaker to adjourn the winter session indefinitely. Hyderabad — the state capital and home to companies like Microsoft, Google and Dell — has been largely unaffected. India moved a cricket match with Sri Lanka out of the port city of Visakhapatnam, to Nagpur, due to the protests.
Since independence in 1947, India has had to balance the challenges of maintaining different peoples under one federal system as well as the relationship between central power in the capital Delhi and the states of the world’s largest democracy. Just six months into office, the Continue reading
Reuters Fri | Dec 11, 2009 | 6:28pm IST
India’s plan to carve a Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh on Friday sparked statehood demands in other parts of Asia’s third largest economy in a new challenge to the Congress party-led government. In a surprise move, the government announced on Thursday that it would push for the formation of a new state after a week of violent protests and a hunger strike by a leading politician shut down business in the state’s high-tech Hyderabad city. Since independence in 1947 India has had to balance the challenges of maintaining different peoples under one federal system as well as the relationship between central power in the capital Delhi and the states of the world’s largest democracy.
The Gorkhas, ethnic Nepalis, in West Bengal called for an indefinite strike from Friday demanding their own “Gorkhaland” to protect their heritage. Other groups also made statehood demands. The Congress party, which heads the ruling coalition, returned to power for a second term by a wider-than-expected margin in May, freeing it from the communists who scuppered many reforms in exchange for their support to the last government. But just a little over six months into office, it has been besieged by a slew of crises, undercutting the momentum from a resounding election victory and making it harder to carry through bold promises of policy change and economic reforms. Political agitations, such as demands for new states driven by ethnic and regional groups, is only expected to slow the pace of economic reforms as political expediency takes preference over firm governance. Continue reading
Reuters | Fri Dec 11, 2009 | 7:57pm IST
A unit of global drug maker GlaxoSmithKline temporarily halted operations in Andhra Pradesh on Friday as the fallout from a government plan to carve up the southern state mounted. The Congress-led government approved a plan on Thursday to create a new state called Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh, home to high-tech Hyderabad city, after more than a week of violent protests and a hunger strike by a leading politician. But fresh protests and the mass resignation of state MLAs may still force the government to backtrack, fearing not only a political backlash, but also economic repercussions.
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, a unit of the global drug maker, said on Friday it was temporarily closing its factory in the state due to the political protests. Shares in several Indian realty firms based in Hyderabad fell, and a local branch of HSBC bank was attacked by a mob of protesters who have shut down the city for more than a week. Investors worry whether the tug-of-war over the creation of a new state will affect investments, as well as where it will leave the status of Hyderabad, home to companies like Microsoft, Google and Dell. The central Continue reading
Reuters | Thu Dec 10, 2009 | 10:09am IST
The government will carve a new state out of southern Andhra Pradesh — base for several major multinational corporations’ operations — after violent protests, a move likely to fuel more statehood demands. Regular protests demanding the new “Telangana” state, which would take 10 out of 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh, have shut down businesses in Hyderabad, the main city and home to firms like Microsoft, Google and Mahindra Satyam. “The process of forming the state of Telangana will be initiated,” Home (interior) Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, told reporters early on Thursday after hectic meetings. Jubiliant supporters of a new state set off firecrackers and danced in Hyderabad when they heard news of the government’s decision. The Telangana supporters want Hyderabad included as well. The city rivals Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley, and has a mix of software firms and shopping complexes along with ancient mosques and forts.
Demands for a separate state gathered steam in 1969 with violent protests killing more than 300 people till 1972. The protests died down for a time, until the regional Telangana Rashtra Samiti party headed by K. Chandrasekhara Rao raised fresh demands in 2001, supported by other non-Congress groups. Congress promised a new state, but was non-committal after winning two straight general elections in 2004 and in May this year, angering supporters of the idea, especially from lower castes in the Telangana region. Chandrasekhara Rao began a fast until death 10 days ago and the Congress party finally gave in, a move experts says might backfire by sparking similar demands for other states elsewhere. “I do foresee demands for statehood from other regions like Rayalaseema and north coastal Andhra Pradesh bordering Orissa state,” Rama Brahmam, a professor of political science at the Hyderabad University said on Thursday.