Statehood issue stressed at Pravasi Telangana Diwas

. Kodandaram gives a call to protest during TDP chief’s visit
. Justice Sudarshan expresses concern over state violence
. Protests against Ponnam Prabhakar’s presence on dais

Karimnagar: The Telangana Development Forum (TDF) of the United States (TDF-USA) celebrated the fourth Pravasi Telangana Diwas here on Sunday. During the programme, it organised a number of programmes, seminars and discussions on the importance of separate Telangana state and the need to intensify the statehood movement.

Justice Sudarshan Reddy, Telangana Political Joint Action Committee (T-JAC) Chairman Prof Kodandaram and MP Ponnam Prabhakar and others addressed the meeting. Experts from various fields presented papers on the development and resources in the region.

Prof Kodandaram in his speech observed that the present conditions in the state were similar to those prevalent before the French and the American Revolutions.

He said that the suppression of the people’s movements with brute force by the government was raising doubts whether an elected government was in the power in the state.

He also used the occasion to come down heavily on TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu for speaking in two tongues on the statehood movement in Telangana. Though he had announced that he was not against Telangana, Naidu later changed his stance.

When people were trying to question his double-talk during the ongoing Rythu Porubata, Naidu was instigating his private army to attack the Telangana activists, he said. He also explained the predicament of the Telangana people.

If they allowed Seemandhra leaders to move around in Telangana, the latter would propagate in New Delhi that everything was well in the region and that there was no need for separation. And if the protested against the visits of Seemandhra leaders, they would resort to physical attacks on them, he said.

The T-JAC leader called upon the people to protest during the tour of Chandrababu Naidu hereafter.

Justice Sudarshan Reddy expressed concern over the increase in state violence, citing the encounters of Maoist leaders Azad and Kishenji. He criticised that the intolerant governments were treating the anti-social elements and the Telangana activists as one and the same and was according brutal treatment to the latter.

He worried that the government was likely to continue with its repressive methods in a more serious manner in the future.
Writer Andesri, NGO Association leader Srinivasa Goud, TDF-USA president Murali Chintala Pani, vice-president Kalva Visveswar Reddy, NRI representatives Nannaparaju Atma Ramaraju, Akkinepalli Chandrasekhar, Telangana writers’ association representatives and senior media people participated in the celebrations.

Commotion at the meet:

The arrival of Karimnagar MP Ponnam Prabhakar led to chaos at the meeting. Satavahana University students who were present among the audience suddenly got up and protested to the organisers for inviting the Congress MP. They said that the Congress leaders were merely making statements to the media on the Telangana statehood issue and not resigning from their positions to put pressure on the party leadership.

However, as the organisers did not heed their protests and invited Ponnam to be seated on the dais, the students threatened to boycott the meeting unless the MP was sent back. At this juncture, the followers of the MP accosted them and argued that they were insulting their leader. This led to tense moments for some time. The police immediately intervened and pacified both the groups. With Ponnam not leaving the venue, the students left, raising slogans against the MP and the Congress Party.

Addressing the meeting, the MP took objection to the protests and asserted that he raised the T issue in Parliament and at AICC meeting not to garnet publicity but to push for separate state. He said he had been in the T movement since his student days and urged the T protesters to join hands with him and collectively fight to secure statehood for the region. [The HANS India]

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