The Union government has set-up a five-member committee headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna to look into the modalities of forming the separate State of Telangana. The committee has been given time till December 31, 2010 to consult all sections of the society and submit report. The terms of reference of the committee are:
· Examine the situation in Andhra Pradesh with reference to demand for separate Telangana State, as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh.
· Review developments in the State since its formation and their impact on the progress and development of different regions of the State.
· Examine the impact of recent developments in the State on different sections of people such as women, children, students, minorities, OBCs, SC and STs.
· Consult all sections of people, especially political parties and elicit their views on a range of solutions that would resolve the present difficult situation.
· Identify the key issues that must be addressed.
· Consult organisations of other civil societies such as industries, trade unions, farmer organisations, women students.
· Make any other suggestion and recommendations that the committee may deem appropriate.
· The protagonists of separate State, however, rejected the terms of reference of the Justice Srikrishna committee and vowed to intensify their agitation. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which has been spearheading the statehood agitation, struck a belligerent note and announced that its MPs, MLAs and MLCs would resign in protest.
· Rejecting the terms of reference and the ten-month time frame given for the committee, the TRS chief said the Centre had once again cheated the people of Telangana by backtracking on its December 9, 2009 statement announcing initiation of the process for formation of separate State.
Taking serious objection to the inclusion of the demand for continuation of united Andhra Pradesh among the terms of reference, he said: “what is the point in looking into the demand for united Andhra Pradesh when it already exists now? There is only one popular movement going on in the State and that is for separate Telangana State.”
However, the leaders from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions found comfort in the open-ended nature of the panel’s terms. “We welcome the terms of reference, which are fairly balanced. It will give an opportunity for a thorough assessment of the ground situation,” a ruling Congress MP from coastal Andhra region said.
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