After Telangana, movement for Seperate Rayalaseema state gathers steam
As the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to form a separate Telangana state has become a major challenge for the Centre, a fresh demand has been put forth by a section of politicians for trifurcation of the state into Telangana, Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.
The demand has been raised by leaders of Rayalaeema region, in the wake of reports that the Centre might take a decision on the Telangana state formation in September.
The Rayalaseema leaders are bluntly refusing to go with the Coastal Andhra region if the Telangana state formation is inevitable.
On Sunday, hundreds of politicians, academics and industrialists belonging to Rayalaseema region held a meeting in Hyderabad under the banner of Rayalaseema Parirakshana Samithi (Rayalaseema Protection Committee). It demanded that the Centre should go in for trifurcation of the state, if it decides to form Telangana state.
“If the Centre gives Telangana state, it should also announce separation of Rayalaseema from Coastal Andhra. We are going to intensify our agitation for separate Rayalaseema state,” said RPS president and Telugu Desam Party leader Byreddy Rajasekhara Reddy.
The leaders announced formation of Rayalaseema Joint Action Committee (RJAC) on the lines of Telangana joint action committee, to spearhead the movement. While Byreddy would be the convenor of the JAC, former minister from Kadapa MV Ramana Reddy would be its chairman. The RJAC decided to from local JACs at all levels to step up the movement for separate state, besides formation of cultural wings to highlight the importance of the region.
Byreddy announced that he would take out a “padayatra” (long foot march) covering 800 kilometres in 40 days all through the Rayalaseema, mobilising public opinion in favour of separate Rayalaseema state.
The RJAC rejected the proposal for some leaders for formation of Rayala Telangana (combination of Rayalaseema and Telangana regions). “We are not going to play second fiddle either to Coastal Andhra or Telangana by joining either region. If the state remains united, we will keep quiet. But if Telangana is separated, we will also get separated and fight for identity and self-respect,” Byreddy said.
The Rayalaseema leaders defended their action, since they were convinced that Telangana state would be formed any time. “There are indications that the Centre would give Telangana, as the Congress party has to safeguard its identity in the region. Even the TDP is now supporting the Telangana state. Under these circumstances, the UPA government will take a positive decision on Telangana. If not the UPA, the BJP-led NDA would grant Telangana if it comes to power in 2014,” Byreddy said.
The RJAC meeting condemned the propaganda of some forces against Rayalaseema people who were being projected as exploiters and factionists. “In fact, Rayalaseema people had made a lot of sacrifices by allowing shifting of state capital from Kurnool to Hyderabad in 1956. Since then, the Rayalaseema people had contributed their sweat and blood for the development of Hyderabad,” RJAC leader Ramana Reddy said.
The RJAC demanded, among others, formation of separate Rayalaseema regiment in the armed forces, reorganisation of the region by dividing existing four districts of Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur and Chittoor into nine districts, development of Tirupati airport into an international airport and allocation of additional quantity of 32 tmc ft of water from Krishna river to the Telugu Ganga project in the region.