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Andhra Pradesh

Srikrishna Committee lists six options on Telangana, including status quo

The Srikrishna Committee on the demand for a separate state of Telangana has placed before the Centre six possible optimal solutions which, in its view, might offer the best way forward, including the maintenance of status quo.

Justice (Retd) B.N. Srikrishna presenting the Srikrishna Committee Report on the Telangana issue to Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi on December 30, 2010
Justice (Retd) B.N. Srikrishna presenting the Srikrishna Committee Report on the Telangana issue to Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi on December 30, 2010

The Srikrishna Committee on the demand for a separate state of Telangana to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh has placed before the Centre six possible optimal solutions and options which, in its view, might offer the best way forward, including the maintenance of status quo.

The Committee, headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice B N Srikrishna, said it had offered these solutions after going into all aspects of the situation as well as keeping in view the local, regional and national perspective.

The six options listed the by the Committee are:

(i) Maintain status quo

(ii) Bifurcation of the State into Seemandhra and Telangana; with Hyderabad as a Union Territory and the two states developing their own capitals in due course

(iii) Bifurcation of State into Rayala-Telangana and coastal Andhra regions with Hyderabad being an integral part of Rayala-Telangana

(iv) Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Seemandhra and Telangana with enlarged Hyderabad Metropolis as a separate Union Territory. This Union Territory will have geographical linkage and contiguity via Nalgonda district in the south-east to district Guntur in coastal Andhra and via Mahboobnagar district in the south to Kurnool district in Rayalaseema

(v) Bifurcation of the State into Telangana and Seemandhra as per existing boundaries with Hyderabad as the capital of Telangana and Seemandhra to have a new capital

(vi) Keeping the State united by simultaneously providing certain definite Constitutional/Statutory measures for socio-economic development and political empowerment of Telangana region – creation of a statutorily empowered Telangana Regional Council.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram shared with each of the eight political parties recognised in Andhra Pradesh a copy of the report, that is in two volumes.

Taking note of the fact that some political parties - the Telengana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - invited to today's meeting had chosen not to attend it, he said he deeply regretted the stand taken by them.

"It does scant justice to the valuable work done by the Justice Srikrishna Committee and the report submitted by the Committee. Nevertheless, I propose to send a copy of the report to the parties that have chosen to stay away," he said.

The report was also made available to the public and is available on the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Mr Chidambaram urged the political parties to give their most careful, thoughtful and impartial consideration to the report and the recommendations.

"In particular, I would urge you to read the report and the recommendations with an open mind and be prepared to persuade, and to be persuaded by, people who hold another point of view. It is Government’s sincere hope that the report will generate an informed and mature debate," he said.

Those who attended today's meeting inlcuded Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Mr Uttam Kumar Reddy, MLA (Congress), Mr K Sambasiva Rao (MP, Congress), Mr C. Ramachandraiah (PRP), Mr Akbaruddin Owaisi (AIMIM), Mr Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri (GS AIMIM), Mr B.V.Raghavulu (CPI-M), Mr Julakanti Ranga, (CPI-M), Mr K. Narayana (CPI) and Mr G. Malesh (CPI).

The first such meeting was held on January 5 last year after which the Government had constituted the Srikrishna Committee with very broad terms of reference. The Committee had submitted its report to the Government on December 30, 2010.

"Our discussions on January 5, 2010 showed the way forward: fact-finding, study, analysis, options and recommendations. It is Government’s hope that our discussions today will also show the further way forward. I am sure that, besides the political parties, the people of Andhra Pradesh – both individuals and groups – would also make valuable suggestions that will show the way forward.

"You will note that I have repeatedly used the phrase ‘way forward’. I do so in order to reiterate Government’s intention to find a just, honourable and practicable solution that has the widest measure of support among all stakeholders," Mr Chidambaram said.

The Home Minister recalled that, following the meeting on January 5, 2010, the political parties had joined him in making an appeal to the people of Andhra Pradesh to maintain peace, harmony and law and order.

"That appeal had a salutary effect. It was heeded by the people of Andhra Pradesh and 2010 was a largely peaceful year. While the political parties consider the report and engage themselves in the search for a solution, it is necessary that peace, harmony and law and order should be maintained in Andhra Pradesh. I would request you to join me, at the end of this meeting, to make an appeal similar to the appeal that we made last year," he said.

Mr Chidambaram said the political parties would require some time to read the report and hold consultations with their colleagues. He, therefore, suggested that another meeting be held later this month.

The five-member Committee was announced by the Home Ministry on February 3 this year as part of the Centre's move to have wide-ranging consultations with all sections of the people and all political parties and groups in Andhra Pradeh on the emotive issue. The Committee had been asked to submit its report by December 31 this year.

Apart from Mr Justice Srikrishna, the other members of the committee were Dr Ranbir Singh, Vice-Chancellor of the National Law University, Delhi, Dr Abusaleh Shariff, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Delhi, Dr (Ms) Ravinder Kaur, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, and Mr Vinod K Duggal, former Union Home Secretary, who was the Member-Secretary.

The committee was asked to examine the situation in Andhra Pradesh with reference to the demand for a separate State of Telangana as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh. It was also asked to review the developments in the State since its formation and their impact on the progress and development of the different regions of the State.

Among other things, it was also asked to:

*Examine the impact of the recent developments in the State on the different sections of the people such as women, children, students, minorities, other backward classes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

*Identify the key issues that must be addressed while considering these matters

*Consult all sections of the people, especially the political parties, on these matters and elicit their views; to seek from the political parties and other organisations a range of solutions that would resolve the present difficult situation and promote the welfare of all sections of the people; to identify the optimal solutions for this purpose; and to recommend a plan of action and a road map.

*Consult other organisations of civil society such as industry, trade, trade unions, farmers’ organisations, women’s organisations and students’ organisations on the aforesaid matters and elicit their views with specific reference to the all round development of the different regions of the State.

*Make any other suggestion or recommendation that the Committee may deem appropriate.

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Free eye clinic for pilgrims at Tirumala by TTD


To provide free eye treatment to visiting pilgrims, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has inaugurated a free eye clinic centre at its Aswini Hospital here.


The Sri Srinivasa Sankara Netralaya (SSSN), which was also offering services at Tirupati Central Hospital, will do similar work in Tirumala at this eye centre.


After inaugurating the clinic yesterday, TTD executive officer IYR Krishna Rao said the pilgrims would be offered free eye treatment.


"After the preliminary treatment, if the patient is diagnosed with any abnormality, he will be referred to Tirupati Central Hospital for further medical treatment," he added.


Later, Mr Rao inaugurated an ultra sound scanner, worth Rs 18 lakh, at Tirupati Central Hospital.


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Tirumala "hundi" records Rs 3.80 crore on New Year day


The world famous Lord Venkateswara temple's collection netted a record of Rs 3.80 crore on the New Year day here yesterday.


The amount was the highest in the temple’s recent history, temple sources said. However, the pilgrims' rush was less this year as compared to last year, they said.


Dignitaries who worshipped at the temple on the day included Chattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Guntur MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao and State Minister Pithani Satyanarayana.


The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) had received 3,650 letters from VIPs for the New Year "darshan", against which 1960 tickets were issued, they added.


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Minister, 4 others injured in road accident in Andhra Pradesh


Andhra Pradesh Minister for Endowments J Krishna Rao and four others were injured when a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus hit a car in which they were travelling at Machavaram in Mahabubnagar district late last night.


According to police here today, the accident occurred when the Minister was proceeding to Hyderabad from Kolhapur.


Mr Rao suffered injuries under his eye and on his head and hand. His car driver, gunman, personal assistant and personal secretary were also injured. They were rushed to SVS hospital at Mahboobnagar in a private vehicle.


After receiving first aid, the minister was rushed to Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) for further treatment. His condition is stable.


Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy called on the Minister at the hospital.



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President Patil leaves for Delhi after winter sojourn in Hyderabad


President Pratibha Patil today left for New Delhi at the end of an eight-day winter sojourn here.


She was seen off at Begumpet airport by Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan and his wife, andChief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, among others.


During her stay here, the President had participated in the three-day International Kuchupudi Dance Convention at the G M C Balyayogi stadium on December 26.


She also opened a herbal garden in the premises of Rashtrapati Nilayam, the Presidential retreat here, on December 25, which intends to raise awareness about India's rich heritage in indigenous medicinal plants.


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SCR to run special train between Visakhapatnam and Kollam


In order to clear the extra rush of passengers, the South Central Railway (SCR) will run a weekly special train from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to Kollam in Kerala and back for four consecutive weeks from January 2.


A press release from the SCR said the 08577 Visakhapatnam-Kollam Express would depart from Visakhapatnam on January 2, 9, 16 and 23 at 0900 hrs and reach Kollam on the next day at 1530 hrs.


The train will stop at Vijayawada, Kottayam and Chenganur stations.


In the opposite direction, the train number 08578 will depart from Kollam on January 3, 10, 17 and 24 at 1915 hrs and will reach Visakhapatnam on the next day at 2345 hrs, the release added.


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Andhra gets lion's share in Krishna water allocation


The three-member Krishna Water Tribunal, constituted to go into the issue of surplus water share in the Krishna river, today awarded a lion's share of 1001 TMC to Andhra Pradesh followed by 911 TMC to Karnataka and 666 TMC to Maharashtra.


Andhra Pradesh will get an increased water share of 1001 TMC from its previous share of 811 TMC under the Bachawat Tribunal award.


The will also get 47 per cent of surplus water share followed by 43 per cent for Karnataka and 17 per cent for Maharashtra.


The tribunal has allowed Karnataka to go upto the full height of 524.256 metres at Alamatti reservoir in the state providing 130 TMC of surplus water to be used in the Upper Krishna Project area, including the areas under Narayanapur dam.


Karnataka's share in the Tungabhadra sub-basin area will now go up to 360 TMC and the state cannot go for project facilities beyond 320 TMC.


Before the second tribunal award, Karnataka was allowed 734 TMC of water.


Senior counsel for Karnataka Mohan Katarki and Brajesh Kalappa, who represented the state, welcomed the tribunal's decision although there were certain areas of concerns. "We will be looking into it," they said.


This is the second tribunal to go into the surplus water issue among the riparian states. The previous tribunal headed by Justice Bachawat had provided for constitution of the second tribunal to go into the surplus water issue.


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PM discusses Telangana issue with senior Ministers ahead of Srikrishna panel's report

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a meeting with senior Ministers to discuss the issue of smaller states, in general, and the demand for a separate state of Telangana, in particular, here on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a meeting with senior Ministers to discuss the issue of smaller states, in general, and the demand for a separate state of Telangana to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh, in particular, here today, official sources said.

The meeting came ahead of the report of the committee headed by Justice B N Srikrishna, a retired Supreme Court Judge, which is expected to be submitted to the Government before the deadline of December 31 set for it.

Justice Srikrishna had told newspersons yesterday that he would submit the report before December 31 to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram.

The sources said the meeting was attended by, among others, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony and Home Minister P Chidambaram but they declined to give out any details of the discussions.

But it is understood that the meeting discussed the likely fallout of the Srikrishna panel's report and the Government's preparedness to handle it.

Apart from Mr Justice Srikrishna, the other members of the committee are Dr Ranbir Singh, Vice-Chancellor of the National Law University, Delhi, Dr Abusaleh Shariff, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Delhi, Dr (Ms) Ravinder Kaur, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, and Mr Vinod K Duggal, former Union Home Secretary, who will be the Member-Secretary.

The committee was asked to examine the situation in Andhra Pradesh with reference to the demand for a separate State of Telangana as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh. It was also asked to review the developments in the State since its formation and their impact on the progress and development of the different regions of the State.

Among other things, it was also asked to:

*Examine the impact of the recent developments in the State on the different sections of the people such as women, children, students, minorities, other backward classes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

*Identify the key issues that must be addressed while considering these matters

*Consult all sections of the people, especially the political parties, on these matters and elicit their views; to seek from the political parties and other organisations a range of solutions that would resolve the present difficult situation and promote the welfare of all sections of the people; to identify the optimal solutions for this purpose; and to recommend a plan of action and a road map.

*Consult other organisations of civil society such as industry, trade, trade unions, farmers’ organisations, women’s organisations and students’ organisations on the aforesaid matters and elicit their views with specific reference to the all round development of the different regions of the State.

*Make any other suggestion or recommendation that the Committee may deem appropriate.

The five-member Committee was announced by the Home Ministry on February 3 this year as part of the Centre's move to have wide-ranging consultations with all sections of the people and all political parties and groups in Andhra Pradeh on the emotive issue.

The committee was set up in pursuance of statements made by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on December 9, 2009 and December 23, 2009 and the meeting he held with the eight recognised political parties of Andhra Pradesh on January 5, 2010.

After his meeting with the leaders of the political parties in the State, Mr Chidambaram had said that the Centre would soon formulate a course of action on the basis of the sense of the meeting.

He had said that it was quite clear that the views of the political parties, which participated in the meeting, were divided on the question of formation of a new state of Telangana.

"It appears to me that no one is opposed to further consultations with other groups and stakeholders. Should such consultations become necessary, they were keen that these should be completed in a reasonable time," he had said.

They had also issued a joint statement, appealing for the maintenance of peace, harmony and law and order in the State.

Mr Chidambaram had announced on the night of December 9 that the process of carving out a new state of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh would be initiated. He had also said that an appropriate resolution on the formation of the new state would be moved in the Andhra Pradesh state legislative assembly.

The December 9 announcement had come at a time when an agitation launched by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) was threatening to spin out of control. TRS chief Chandrasekhara Rao, 55, had been on a fast unto death in Hyderabad for 11 days at that time, forcing the Centre to speed up its efforts to defuse the crisis as his health was deteriorating.

On December 23, Mr Chidambaram said the December 9 announcement had been made after the receipt of the minutes of a meeting of all political parties convened by then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah on December 7, when a consensus had emerged on the question of formation of a separate state of Telangana.

He also took note of the agitations launched by both supporters and opponents of Telangana in Andhra Pradesh and said there was a need for wider consultations.

The Home Minister told the January 5 meeting that there were a number of misconceptions surrounding the issues before the meeting.

"There is a misconception that the Central Government acted in haste; that the political parties were not consulted; and that I, as Home Minister, acted as an individual. As you are well aware, none of these misconceptions is supported by facts.." he had said.

Mr Chidambaram had referred to the long history behind the demand for a separate state of Telangana. "It is sufficient to refer to the report of the States Reorganisation Commission; the Gentlemen’s Agreement of 1956 and the amendment of Article 371(1) of the Constitution; the Six Point Formula of 1973; and the introduction of Article 371D in the Constitution. More recently, in the elections to the State Assembly of Andhra Pradesh held in May, 2009, the political parties outlined their positions in their respective election manifestos. All this is in the public domain," he had said.

He had said the Central Government was concerned when an agitation was started in November, 2009 demanding a separate State of Telangana.

"Quite rightly, the political parties in Andhra Pradesh were the first responders to the agitation. You are aware of the proceedings of the Business Advisory Committee of the Andhra Pradesh State Assembly on December 7, 2009 followed by the proceedings of the all party meeting convened by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh later in the evening of the same day.

"I wish to reiterate that the first statement on behalf of the Central Government was made on the basis of the minutes of the all party meeting held on December 7, 2009," he had said.

The Home Minister's December 9, 2009 announcement on Telangana had led to a situation in which some of the parties which had supported the demand for a separate state later changed their stance. Scores of legislators in Andhra Pradesh sent in their resignations in protest against the move to divide the state.

Even within the Congress, Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) from the coastal and Rayalaseema regions opposed the move. The issue has polarised political parties in Andhra Pradesh on regional lines.

On December 11, 2009 a delegation of Andhra Pradesh had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was understood to have assured them that the Centre would not act in haste in the matter of creating the new state. The MPs told Dr Singh that the mood in the state was for it to remain united.

The Centre's December 9, 2009 announcement on Telangana had also sparked off similar demands from those campaigning for Gorkhaland in West Bengal, Bundelkhand and Harit Pradesh in Uttar Pradesh, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Maru Pradesh in Rajasthan. This prompted some people to suggest that it was, perhaps, time to appoint a States Reorganisation Commission.

Telangana is that part of Andhra Pradesh which corresponds to the Telugu-speaking part of the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad, which lies on the Deccan plateau to the west of the Eastern Ghats.

It includes the districts of Warangal, Adilabad, Khammam, Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Rangareddy, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Medak and Hyderabad, the capital.

Andhra Pradesh was formed in 1956 and in the years that followed there were growing complaints in the Telangana region that the promises made to them had not been kept. These finally led to a students' agitation in 1969 that was marked by widespread violence and the deaths of scores of people.

The demand for a separate state was kept alive in one form or the other and in 1971 some leaders left the Congress to form the Telangana Praja Samiti, but they later returned to the party. In the 1990s, the National Democratic Alliance government at the centre could not take a decision on the issue because of the stand taken by its coalition partner Telugu Desam Party.

The TRS was formed with the single point agenda of creating a separate Telangana state with Hyderabad as its capital. In the 2004 elections to the Lok Sabha as well as the State Legislative Assembly, the Congress struck an alliance with the TRS with the promise of a separate state.

The Congress came to power in Andhra Pradesh and the party led the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the Centre, with the TRS as one of the coalition partners. Mr Chandrasekhara Rao also joined the Union Government as a minister, but the Union Government remained indecisive on the issue, forcing the TRS leader to withdraw his party's support to the UPA Government in September, 2006.

Telangana was an issue ahead of the General Elections last year and all the major parties in Andhra Pradesh came out in support of the cause.

The Congress returned to power both at the Centre and in Andhra Pradesh and the alliance of which TRS was a part lost badly in the state. On September 2, 2009 then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, who had returned to power with a convincing mandate, died in a helicopter crash.

Mr Rosaiah, who took over as Chief Minister, was not considered to be politically tough the way the late Mr Reddy was and this, many believe, encouraged Mr Chandrasekhara Rao to start his indefinite fast in late November, 2009 demanding the formation of a separate Telangana state.

The Srikrishna Committee met over a hundred groups, including representatives of political parties and people from various walks of life, and visited all the 23 districts of the state before finalising its report.

Yesterday, the Andhra Pradesh government withdrew all the cases filed against students during the agitation for and against the formation of a separate Telangana state.

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Congress MPs end "satyagraha" after AP govt. decides to lift cases


The Congress MPs of Telangana region today called off their fast following lifting of cases registered against students who took part in pro-Telangana agitations.


The MPs led by Congress Working Committee Member (CWC) K Keshav Rao sipped lime juice in the presence of State Home Minister P Sabita Indira Reddy and Panchayat Raj Minister K Jana Reddy, ending their fast.


The two ministers, after speaking to reporters at the secretariat, rushed to the new MLA quarters and showed the state government's press statement to the fasting MPs before they ended the "satyagraha".


Mr Reddy said the MPs were on the fast since the last two days. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), which is spearheading the agitation for a separate Telangana state, also expressed its solidarity with them.


Though there was a delay in the administrative process of lifting the cases, the state government has taken a positive decision to lift the remaining cases, he said.


Mr Reddy said the Telangana ministers discussed the issue with the Chief Minister several times since yesterday and he took the final call today.


The Minister, on behalf of the Telangana people, thanked the Chief Minister for accepting the MPs' demand and appealed to them on behalf of the state government to call off the fast.


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Indian student shot dead in during robbery in US


Jayachandra Elaprolu, a 22-year-old student from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh was shot dead by a miscreant during a robbery at a convenience store at a gas station in Pasadena, Houston, Texas in the United States early Christmas morning.


The youth, who was studying for his M.S. had taken up a part-time job at the Conoco gas station at San Augustine about a month ago.


Telugu Association of North America (TANA) President K Jayaram told journalists in Vijayawada today that efforts were being made to bring the body of the slain student home, though there might be some delay, a United News of India (UNI) report said.


A report on the Houston Chronicle's website said Pasadena police were looking for at least two suspects in the shooting death of Jayachandra.


According to the report, a man wearing a ski mask entered the gas station around 2.20 am local time, shot Jayachandra and took the cash register.


The newspaper quoted Pasadena police spokesman Budd Corbett as saying that Jayachandra was shot five times.


The report said police had distributed surveillance video from the store to local media outlets in an attempt to find witnesses.


Mr Corbett said the police were surprised by the ferocity of the gunman, who appears to walk in with a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol in hand and start shooting.


"To actually see the suspect enter a store and engage in gunfire is a unique circumstance. He's a very violent individual, and the sooner we apprehend him, the better," the report quoted him saying.


Mr Corbett said Jayachandra was able to get behind a door that opened to a small office behind the counter. However, he appears to have been shot through the door. He was dead when police arrived, the report said.


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Fasting Naidu shifted to ICU as his condition deteriorates


Fearing that Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu, who was continuing his week-long fast in the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) here, might slip into a coma, the doctors there with the help of police shifted him to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital this evening.


As the day progressed, the condition of Mr Naidu further deteriorated, causing anxiety not only to members of his family members but also the five-member team of doctors who were attending on the former Chief Minister on the directions of the state government.


Armed with a court order, the doctors asked the police to enter the Emergency ward where Mr Naidu was continuing his fast from his bed and not taking even a morsel of food except water since the last seven days.


Amid obstruction by the TDP leaders and family members of Mr Naidu, he was shifted to the ICU where they would administer him fluids and also saline forcibly.


Mr Naidu who refused medical treatment all these days did not resist while being shifted, due to weakness.


Mr Naidu has been suffering from cardiomyopathy since birth but it had not posed a serious problem till now. But now, due to his failing health in the last few days, doctors are worried about the impact his fast could have on his heart.


Doctors in the NIMS who examined Mr Naidu earlier in the day found his blood pressure and sugar levels had fallen.


TDP leader Devender Goud told reporters at the hospital that the party would intensify its agitation on farmers' issues along with the Left parties.



Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy told journalists after an all-party meeting that Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy wold lead an all-party delegation to Delhi to apprise the Central leaders about the farmers, who had suffered on account of the recent heavy unseasonal rains.


TDP workers blocked roads at many places in the state, affecting vehicular traffic. In Guntur district, TDP activists set fire to an APSRTC bus at Gantavaripalem while seven APSRTC buses were damaged in Chittoor district as part of the agitation, reports added.


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TDP's strike call over Naidu's arrest hits normal life in AP


The state-wide general strike called by the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to protest the arrest and shifting of its fasting president N Chandrababu Naidu to hospital hit normal life in Andhra Pradesh today.


Reports reaching here said TDP workers came to the streets and in several places prevented the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) buses from plying in towns and cities.


In several places, TDP workers forced the traders to close down their shops and business establishments and the window panes of the APSRTC buses were damaged at Kacharu in Rajahmundry Rural Mandal in East Godavari district.


Similar incidents were reported in Guntur and Nalgonda districts.


Vehicular traffic came to a grinding halt at several places in the state as the TDP leaders and functionaries blocked roads.


The Left parties extended full support to the "bandh" and termed the arrest and shifting of Mr Naidu to the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) as "undemocratic".


In the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, the bandh was partial and incident-free. In some areas, shops were open and in other areas businessmen downed shutters of their establishments. Central and State Goverment offices were working as usual.


Autorickshawss and some APSRTC buses were plying and police deployed in full strength in the city to prevent any untoward incidents.


A report from Vijayawada said the bandh call evoked good response as all commercial establishments and educational institutions remained closed and protests organised in front of APSRTC Bus Complexes in Krishna, Guntur and West Godavari Districts. Cinemas cancelled noon shows.


Police arrested the agitating TDP activists, including MLA D Umameshwara Rao and M Babu.


TDP activists at Machavaram in the heart of the city, where several colleges were located, obstructed college buses and forced the managements to declare a holiday.


The TDP activists organised road blockades at several places, including at Gollapudi, Kanchakacharla, Nandigama, Jagaiahpet on the busy Machilipatnam-Pune highway and several places on the Chennai-Kolkata highway, resulting in hundreds of vehicles stranded on either side of the roads.


In Guntur, the TDP activists went on the rampage pelting stones on RTC buses, smashing the wind screens of several of them. All the commercial establishments and educational institutions in the city remained closed. The Acharya Nagarjuna University cancelled engineering and post-graduate semester examinations in view of the bandh.


In West Godavari district, TDP activists staged a "dharna" in front of the RTC Bus Complexes at Eluru, Kovvuru and Jangareddy Gudem, obstructing the services.



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No politics in Naidu's arrest: AP Home Minister


Andhra Pradesh Home Minister P Sabita Indira Reddy clarified that there was no politics or revenge in the arrest and shifting of fasting Telugu Desam President (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu to the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) early today.


Addressing a press conference here, Ms Reddy said that ever since Mr Naidu began his fast three days ago, doctors were monitoring his health.


The government doctors and his personal doctors who had examined Mr Naidu stated at 1930 hours last night that his condition had turned criticial. "As responsibility lies on the government on his falling health, the state government shifted him to hospital," she said.


The Home Minister said the police officers and a team of doctors requested Mr Naidu four to five times before his arrest to go to the hospital and cooperate with them. As Mr Naidu refused to do so, he was arrested and shifted to hospital, she said.


About Mr Naidu falling from the stretcher in the hospital, Ms Reddy said that the Government would take action if there were any mistakes by the police personnel in handling him.


The Home Minister said the police was not involved in the decision to shift Mr Naidu to hospital, which was taken by the State government.


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Fasting Chandrababu Naidu forcibly shifted to hospital in Hyderabad


Amidst high drama and chaos, former Andhra Chief Minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President N Chandrababu Naidu, who is on an indefinite fast for the last three days, was arrested and shifted to the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), early today.


A large posse of police personnel descended at the new MLA quarters, where Mr Naidu had been on fast demanding better package to the farmers who lost their crops in recent rains, and forcibly shifted him to the NIMS.


The police personnel, who came around midnight, repeatedly appealed to Mr Naidu to call off the fast.


As Mr Naidu did not relent, a large number of TDP supporters threw a security cordon arund him and tried to prevent the police from shifting him.


Amid high drama and jostling, the police lifted Mr Naidu and shifted him to the NIMS. Mr Naidu's son Lokesh suffered minor injuries in the melee.


Condemning the "cowardly" act by the police, Mr Naidu said he would continue the fast in the hospital till the government conceded his demand and announced an input subsidy of Rs 10,000 per acre for food crops damaged in rains.


Tension prevailed at the venue when the police swooped on to the dias where Mr Naidu was sitting on his fast.


As Mr Naidu did not budge, police arrested the TDP workers who came in their way and bundled them into waiting police vans.


The state government had last night directed the police to shift Mr Naidu to hospital as his health condition deteriorating.


TDP leaders and workers strongly condemned the state government's action when their leader was holding fast peacefully.


"It looks like emergency period as the police dubiously acted against Mr Naidu," a TDP leader said, adding Mr Naidu's son has suffered injuries on his head and right hand.


Police have registered cases against Mr Naidu and his supporters.


TDP legislator Nagam Janardhan Reddy told mediapersons that police had acted in an "inhuman" way as they manhandled the legislators who prevented them from arresting Mr Naidu.


Reports said Mr Naidu was refusing to take intravenous fluids in the emergency ward in the hospital.


In protest against the arrests of its workers and the shifting of Mr Naidu to hospital, the TDP has called for a state-wide "bandh" (general strike) today.


NNN

Depression likely to cross south AP coast by Tuesday night


The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said here today that a depression had formed over west-central Bay of Bengal and it was likely to cross south Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Ongole near Kavali by tonight.


A bulletin issued by IMD said that the depression lay centred at 0830 IST today near latitude 14 degrees North and longitude 82 degrees East, about 230 km south-east of Kavali, 270 km south-southeast of Machlipatnam and 450 km south-southwest of Vishakhapatnam.


"It will move northwestwards and cross south Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Ongole near Kavali by today night," the bulletin said.


Under its influence, rains or thundershowers would occur at most places, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places, over Rayalseema and north coastal Tamil Nadu during the next 48 hours. Isolated heavy rainfall would also occur during the next 24 hours over south coastal Orissa from tomorrow, the bulletin said.


It said squally winds, with speed reaching 45-55 kmph, gusting to 65 kmph, would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh coasts during the next 48 hours. Sea conditions will be rough to very rough along and off these coasts, it said, and advised fishermen not to venture into the sea.


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Kiran Reddy says agitations caused Rs 6,000 cr loss to AP


Andhra Pradesh's new Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today said that the State Government had lost about Rs 6,000 crore last year due to agitations in support of a separate Telangana and its counter agitations for a unified State.


Addressing his maiden public meeting at Tandur town of Ranga Reddy District here after assuming office, Mr Reddy said the series of agitations and protests had an adverse impact on the State revenue and caused a loss of Rs 6,000 crore to the State exchequer.


However, he exuded confidence that all the problems would be solved in next three or four months.


On the occasion, the Chief Minister vowed that supply of free power for agricultural sector and welfare schemes and all development programmes launched by late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) would be continued and there was no question of stopping them in the middle by citing financial reasons.


Mr Reddy assured the people that his government was committed to the welfare of farmers and said he was taking all steps to provide more loans through the banks to the agriculture sector.


Some pro-Telangana activists had tried to obstruct the Chief Minister's visit. However, the police foiled their attempt and took them into custody.


NNN

Jaganmohan Reddy's resignation from Lok Sabha accepted

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar today announced that Congress rebel MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy's resignation as member of the House from Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh had been accepted.

Amidst a din created by the Opposition continuing its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the 2G spectrum allocation scam, Ms Kumar informed the House that she had accepted Mr Reddy's resignation with effect from November 29.

"I have to inform the House that I have received a letter dated November 29 from Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, an elected member from Kadapa parliamentary constituency of Andhra Pradesh resigning from the membership of the Lok Sabha. I have accepted his resignation with effect from November 29," she said.

Mr Reddy, 38, is the son of late Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, has been unhappy with the way the party high command has overlooked his claims to succeed his father, who had died in a helicopter crash on September 2 last year.

He has also resigned from the primary membership of the party while his mother, Ms Vijaylakshmi Reddy, has quit as a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

NNN

Naval Commanders' Conference at Vizag from today

The three-day Naval Commanders' Conference 2009, being held at the Eastern Naval Command headquarters in Visakhapatnam from today, is expected to discuss ways of improving maritime security, including coastal security, and enhancement of its capabilities to meet future challenges.

The conference is the highest decision-making body of the Indian Navy and it meets annually to deliberate upon major operational issues that have a bearing on the nation’s maritime interests, coastal and offshore security, naval strategy, and operational and acquisition plans.

The conference will be inaugurated by Admiral Sureesh Mehta, the Chief of the Naval Staff. Other senior officers from the navy, the three naval command headquarters, the Andaman and Nicobar Command, and the two fleets, will also attend.

The navy has recently been entrusted with the responsibility of comprehensive maritime security, including coastal security. New organisations, structures and procedures for achieving synergy between all stake holders, such as the coast guard, marine police, and other central and state security agencies, have been operationalised.

As the nation and the navy gears itself up to meet this challenging task, many issues require detailed debate. ‘Coastal Security’ is, therefore, one of the major focus issues of this year’s conference, an official statement said.

Over the past six months, the navy has deployed ships continuously in the Gulf of Aden on anti-piracy missions. The Indian Navy’s contribution in maintaining security in the region has been widely acclaimed by seafarers all over the world. Measures to further improve effectiveness of the navy in anti-piracy missions will also be deliberated during the conference, it said.

Over the next few years, very major capabilities in all three dimensions will be inducted into the navy. The integration of these platforms and weapon systems to support the overall concept of operations is a transformational challenge. Naval Commanders would deliberate on these issues as well, the statement added.

NNN

University of Hyderabad

University of Hyderabad - Created as a Central University in 1974 by an Act of Parliament, offers courses in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, technology, visual arts, communication, management and continuing education.

A S Murty is new Satyam CEO

Beleaguered Satyam Computer Services today announced that Mr A S Murty, its Chief Delivery Officer, would be the new Chief Executive Officer of the company as efforts to revive the outsourcing major gathered pace.

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