Centre abandons plan for greater Telangana

The central government today decided to abandon plans for a greater Telangana state incorporating two districts from Rayalaseema region amidst stiff opposition to the proposal and large-scale violence that has now spread to educational institutions also.

The UPA government, according to TV reports, has proposed to add two districts - Anantapur and Kurnool from the Rayalaseema region - to Telangana after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

The move to further confound an already complicated issue, evoked sudden response with the Telangana region calling for a bandh on Thursday to stall the Rayala-Telangana proposal.

Tension prevailed on the Osmania University campus when police prevented pro-Telangana student protesters from taking out a rally from the varsity. Police lobbed tear gas shells after the students reportedly attacked security personnel with stones.

Earlier, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had lashed out at the ruling Congress for complicating the issue.

"The group of ministers conveniently leaves gaps about territorial and geographical boundaries, adding confusion to the hasty bifurcation process started by the Congress," TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu tweeted on Thursday.

"The Congress is clearly playing murky games. One day it floats a rumour about creating Rayala-Telangana state. Another day, it speaks about making Hyderabad a union territory. We will not allow Congress to succeed in its games," Naidu said.

The TDP president held a meeting with senior leaders of the party to discuss the political developments in the backdrop of GoM proposal for creation of Rayala-Telangana.

TDP politburo member Yanamala Ramakrishnudu accused the Congress of seeking only political gains over the state's bifurcation.

"The Congress is only calculating whether Telangana state will bring it political gains or Rayala-Telangana. It is playing with the future of Andhra Pradesh and the Telugu people," Yanamala said.

Meanwhile, police began efforts to take the protesting students into preventive custody.

Pro-Telangana students had also clashed with police yesterday when the latter foiled their plan to take out a bike rally from the campus towards Gun Park.

The students are supporting the bandh called by TRS and other pro-Telangana organisations against the reported proposal of greater Telangana, which entails splitting Rayalaseema region and adding two of its four districts to the ten districts of proposed Telangana state.

TRS has appealed to the people from all walks of life to voluntarily observe the shutdown.