6.13 pm: GoM to consider Srikrishna Committee's Telangana report
The Group of Ministers (GoM), set up to look into the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, will focus its deliberations on the recommendations of Justice BN Srikrishna Committee that gave an extensive report on Telangana in 2010.
"Srikrishna Committee's report will be the basis of the whole exercise," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who heads the seven-member ministerial panel, told reporters here.
However, the option -- bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and Seemandhra with Hyderabad as the capital of Telangana and Seemandhra having a new capital — given by the central government was not the most preferred one of the committee.
"After taking into account all the pros and cons, the committee did not think it to be the most preferred, but the second best option. Separation is recommended only in case it is unavoidable and if this decision can be reached amicably amongst all the three regions," the five-member Srikrishna Committee, headed by Justice (retd) B N Srikrishna, had said.
The committee said if this option is exercised, the apprehensions of the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema people and others who have settled in Hyderabad and other districts of Telangana with regard to their investments, properties, livelihood and employment, would need to be adequately addressed and confidence instilled that their safety and
security would get highest priority from the new dispensation.
"Considering all aspects, the committee felt that while creation of a separate Telangana would satisfy a large majority of people from the region, it would also throw up several other serious problems... The implications for the other two regions also cannot be ignored," it had said.
The Srikrishna Committee said this option implies accepting the full demands of a large majority of Telangana people for a separate state that will assuage their emotional feelings and sentiments as well as the perceived sense of discrimination and neglect.
The committee's impression, gained during its extensive tours of Telangana region, indicated that a very large number of people from Telangana were highly supportive of the demand for a separate state.
The panel had said the implications of this option are that (i) if earlier agitations are anything to go by, this decision will give rise to serious and violent agitations in the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, where the backlash will be immediate; the key issues being Hyderabad and sharing of water and irrigation resources.
5.35 pm: Naidu wants to continue Telangana fast, refuses IV drip
Forcibly evicted to a hospital here on the fifth day of his fast, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu is suffering from "mild dehydration" but has refused to take intravenous drip and wants to continue his hunger strike, doctors said today.
A team of doctors comprising a cardiologist, two physicians and four resident doctors at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital are monitoring the condition of 63-year-old Naidu, who is on a fast against bifurcation of Andra Pradesh.
His health parameters are within "normal range" except that he is mildly dehydrated and ketons in the urine are 3+, they said.
"Ketone 3+ indicates that the body is drawing strength from the last of the calories reserved. We tried giving him intravenous DNS and vitamins but he refused saying that he wants to continue the fast," said Dr H K Kar, Medical Superitendent of RML hospital.
His blood pressure was 150/70, pulse 100 which is on the higher side, sugar 85, ketone 3+ and he is mildly dehydrated, Kar said.
4.28 pm: Angry Andhra CM takes on Digvijaya over Telangana
Taking strong exception to "conflicting statements" being made by the Central leaders over the state bifurcation issue, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today called AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh and questioned him on what procedure was being exactly followed in the matter.
"You are making one statement and (Union Home Minister) Shinde is coming out with different statements. These statements are only creating serious apprehensions among people of the state," Kiran reportedly told Digvijaya over phone.
"How will you create confidence among people of different regions of the state on the bifurcation if you make such contradicting statements ? You better speak in one voice with one opinion," he added.
A release issued through the Congress Legislature Party quoted the Chief Minister as telling the AICC general secretary, in charge of AP affairs, that such "conflicting statements" on a critical issue were "not good for people" of the two regions (of the state).
"You told me clearly that a resolution on the state division will be sent to the Assembly twice and wanted me to convey the same to the people as your voice.
During talks with striking government officers and employees (of Seemaandhra), I clearly assured them that the 'resolution' will come to the Assembly twice, based on your word. But Home Minister Shinde made a contradictory statement that only the draft Bill will be sent to the Assembly, that too for eliciting views," Kiran Kumar pointed out.
The Chief Minister also referred to Shinde s statement that the Centre was going ahead with the state division process expeditiously.
"This is a critical issue linked to the future of the coming generations of two regions. Its not good for you to make conflicting statements on this. In fact, what is the procedure (for bifurcation) you are following," Kiran questioned Digvijay.
3:15 pm: Chandrababu Naidu moved to RML Hospital
After dispersing his angry supporters, authorities have finally managed to ferry TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu to a vehicle, from where he is to be moved to the RML Hospital in New Delhi.
Television visuals showed the TDP chief sitting in a ambulance and sipping on water as authorities prepared to ferry him to the hospital for treatment.
The ambulance is still being blocked by hundreds of supporters who are objecting to him being taken away.
2.47 pm: Naidu asked to move his fast out of Andhra Bhavan
Chandrababu Naidu has been asked to move his fast out of Andhra Bhavan, but his supporters are refusing to allow him to be moved.
There is an ambulance on standby, but Naidu's supporters who are waving flags and banners, are not allowing a clear path to the vehicle. They are in fact, forming a human wall to prevent officials from approaching the stage.
Police are also at the spot. There seems to be no move to forcibly evict the TDP leader, but there has been speculation that this will eventually be done. Naidu has been fasting for 5 days and his health is reportedly deteriorating.
1.15 pm: Andhra power stations running at full steam
Two thermal power stations at Vijayawada and Kadapa went into steam today as power employees in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh resumed work after calling off their indefinite strike "temporarily" in view of cyclonic storm Phailan.
The Narla Tata Rao Thermal Power Station at Vijayawada and Rayalaseema Thermal Power Station at Kadapa, which have a combined generation capacity of 2,810 MW, resumed operations today.
The Srisailam right bank hydro power house also resumed generation, adding 770 MW to the capacity and relieving the state of the electricity crisis that affected even emergency services in the last five days.
"Power generation is back to normal since today morning as the employees resumed work," Power Generation Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Limited Chairman and Managing Director K Vijayanand told PTI.
Official sources, however, said only 9,691 MW of power was being generated currently across the state as against the previous 11,000 MW.
"Generation is slowly picking up. It takes time for thermal (power) to come back fully," a top official of a power utility said.
The gap in generation was expected to be filled in the next few hours when thermal stations get into full steam, he said.
Power cuts have almost been lifted, including in Hyderabad city, as distribution has also been restored in Seemandhra districts, the official added.
The strike had pushed 13 coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts into darkness, affecting movement of trains and emergency services in hospitals, besides hampering power supply to Hyderabad city.
12.30 pm: No full fledged meeting for GoM
The GoM on Telangana headed by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde which held its first meeting today, discussed basis parameters for creation of a separate state, according to oil minister Ghulam Nabi Azad who is also a part of the committee.
However he said that the inaugural meeting was not a full fledged one, given that two members - P Chidambaram and AK Antony - were not present. Chidambaram is on an official visit to the United States, while ANtony is reportedly recuperating from surgery.
A full fledged meeting will now be held on 19 October.
Azad also said that there was no time-frame for the GoM on Telangana to submit its report, adding that the GoM would like to assure people of Andhra Pradesh that their concerns would be addressed with fairness and objectivity.
12.08 pm: Kiran Kumar Reddy reviews government preparedness for Phailin
The Andhra Pradesh government is gearing up to deal with the impact of the cyclonic storm 'Phailin', which is expected to cause damage in coastal districts of the state.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has reviewed the government's preparedness to face the impact of the cyclone and directed officials to take all precautionary measures.
Reports from coastal districts said it was raining and that the sea was rough. Heavy rains have begun under the influence of the system.
The striking electricity employees in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema against state bifurcation have temporarily called off their agitation in view of the cyclone threat to Coastal Andhra following talks with the Chief Minister.
The five-day strike by the electricity employees caused extensive disruption to power supply in the two regions.
The power supply situation was returning to normalcy after the electricity employees ended their strike.
The process of power generation at the Vijaywada thermal power station also began with the striking employees resuming their duties, officials said.
The pro-united Andhra teachers also withdrew their strike following talks with the chief minister yesterday.
Other government employees had also announced that they would take part in rescue and relief measures for the cyclonic storm.
11.35 am: Andhra govt shifts focus from Telangana to cyclone Phailin
Disaster Management Commissioner T Radha has said the government is geared up to face the cyclone. “We have been stocking essential commodities in advance.. once the cyclone crosses we expect 20 villages to be cut off.. so we are making necessary arrangements,” he said.
Andhra Pradesh has set up a round-the-clock control room in the Secretariat.
He also said that six districts in the state have been put on high alert. “The CM held a meeting with the Army and Navy, they are on standby incase of an emergency,” he said.
The control room numbers are: 040-23456005/23451043 and Fax- 040-23451819.
11.00 am: GoM on Telangana begins
The GoM on Telangana is meeting, in the wake of high tension and protests that saw among other things, a total standstill and four-day power outage.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the GoM will submit its report at the earliest and the government will not go back on its decision. The members include Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who heads the GoM, Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M Veerappa Moily and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh are the part of the GoM.
Minister of State for the Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy is a special invitee.
The GoM was constituted on Tuesday.
However it is doubtful that the committee will make any key decisions today, given that defence minister AK Antony is currently recuperating from a surgery while Chidambaram is out of the country .
10.00 am: Vizianagaram curfew relaxed for nine hours as tension eases
With the situation further improving, curfew in violence-hit Vizianagaram town of the district has been relaxed for nine hours today to facilitate people to purchase essential commodities. "As the situation is returning to normal, authorities have decided to relax curfew for nine hours today from 7 am to 4 pm to provide relief to the people of the town, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Vizag region) P Umapathi told PTI.
The entire state which received power after a four day outage, is now battening down for cyclone Phailin.
The situation was totally under control and no fresh violence was reported since last five days in Vizianagaram town, the DIG added.
In all, more than 300 people are suspected to be involved in violent incidents have been taken into custody, police said.
Police and paramilitary personnel, including members of the Rapid Action Force, continue to patrol the trouble torn city.
Vizianagaram District Collector Kantilal Dande also said that in view of the present peaceful situation, the curfew will be relaxed for nine hours today.
However, section 144 of CrPc will continue to be in force during the relaxation period.
Based on the situation and after a review meeting with with concerned officials, curfew may be lifted completely in the town from tomorrow, Dande said.
8.45 am: Antony, Chidambaram to skip GoM meet on Telangana?
The GoM on Telangana is unlikely to take any key decisions as two key members - Defence Minister AK Antony and Finance Minister P Chidambaram are unlikely to be present at its first meet today.
According to a Hindustan Times report, Antony is currently recuperating from a surgery while Chidambaram is out of the country .
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the GoM will submit its report at the earliest and the government will not go back on its decision.
7.40 am: After power employees, teachers too call off strike
After successfully convincing power sector employees to call off their strike, the government has managed to convince teachers that their demands would be met. The teachers' Joint Action Committee called-off their strike late last evening on the assurance that their interests would be met, the Indian Express reported.
7.14 am: Congress unlikely to press for President's rule in Andhra
The Congress-led UPA government is unlikely to impose president's rule in Andhra Pradesh as it is likely to only complicate and delay the bifurcation process even further.
According to a report in the Times of India, Once the GoM recommendations are in, the president will have to refer the cabinet note and the Andhra reorganisation bill to the state assembly. Imposing president's rule would mean a new government will have to be put in place for which the Congress will have to pick a new CM.
Updates for 10 October end
8.59 pm: Jaganmohan Reddy may not be discharged from hospital tomorrow
YSR Congress president YS Jaganmohan Reddy, who was shifted to a hospital here following his five-day hunger strike against the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, may not be discharged tomorrow, doctors said.
"Jaganmohan Reddy was forcibly administered IV fluids with police help after his admission last night. His health condition is still a bit painful as he held fast for the second time within a short span of time."
"His ketone bodies are still high. Our team of doctors is spending maximum time and trying for his recovery," a doctor from the state-run Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) here told the reporters today.
Police last night removed Jagan from the venue of his indefinite hunger strike as doctors voiced concern about his deteriorating health.
A team of policemen swooped down on Jagan's house in posh Jubilee Hills area late last night, lifted him and put him in an ambulance.
The Kadapa MP began his indefinite fast on 5 October in support of united Andhra Pradesh and doctors advised yesterday that he should call it off as his blood sugar levels and other parameters were worrisome.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar today said developments in Telangana showed Congress's failure on the political front.
"Rising prices and corruption show that the UPA has failed on the economic front while what is happening in Telangana indicates that it has failed on the political front," he said, talking to reporters here.
Javadekar said he was confident that BJP would win the coming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh.
BJP would form governments in all the five states that are going to polls next month and Congress would be unable to retain power even in Mizoram, he said.
5.13 pm: Chandrababu Naidu fast over Telangana is strange, says Shinde
The indefinite hunger strike being held by TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu at Andhra Bhavan here was today termed "strange" by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde who said this was perhaps the first time that a former Chief Minister was holding a fast on a state guest house premises.
"Ye ajeeb tarah ka andolan hain (This is a strange kind of agitation). For the first time, I am seeing someone using the premises of a state guest house for a fast," he told reporters when asked whether the Centre would intervene to evict Naidu from the Andhra Bhavan premises.
government and Naidu over the site of his fast, Shinde said the state government should approach a civil court with a complaint of trespassing.
"If there is a court order, then we can help," he said. Appealing to Naidu to call off his strike and return to AP, Shinde said TDP had categorically conveyed to the Centre its support for the creation of a separate Telangana state and that view was given due weightage.
4.27 pm: Will continue protests in other forms, says JAC leader
Following a request by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy the Electricity Employees Joint Action Committee agreed to call off the strike and resume duties from tomorrow morning, JAC leader Saibabu said. However, Saibabu said it was only temporary.
"We have not called off our strike completely. It's only temporary in view of the cyclone threat," Saibabu told reporters after the meeting with the Chief Minister.
The decision was taken to avoid inconvenience to the people, he said, adding that power supply would be restored immediately.
"We will, however, continue our protests in other forms," he said.
The JAC leader thanked 30,000 regular and 15,000 contract employees of the power sector for taking part in the indefinite strike.
He also thanked the people for bearing with hardships during the strike period and said they would continue the agitation till their demand for a united Andhra Pradesh was met.
The strike pushed 13 coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts into darkness, affecting movement of trains and emergency services in hospitals besides hampering supply to Hyderabad city.
1.53 pm: Relief at last: Power employees call off strike
Some respite could finally be coming the way of Andhra Pradesh, with television reports saying that striking power workers have called off their agitation in view of a cyclone that is scheduled to hit Northern Andhra and Odisha soon. The Times Now channel reported that the strike had been called off following a third round of talks with Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy. Previously two rounds of talks between the CM and the unions had failed, as he had been unable to give them an assurance that the state would not be divided.
The decision will come as a huge relief for the people in 13 affected districts, where even hospitals had been at the receiving end of the power outage. Fuel prices had skyrocketed on the back of increased demand for diesel to power generators and there was a fear that the entire southern grid could be in danger of tripping.
The decision also comes even as the government was advocating the use of the ESMA (Emergency Services Maintenance Act) to bring an end to the power crisis in the state.
However relief may be short lived.
According to NDTV, unions warned that their decision is based on a commitment to assisting the state to withstand the impact of the cyclone, and that their strike may resume later.
1.00 pm: Justice will be done to the people of Andhra, says Shinde
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has said that the GoM on Andhra Pradesh which will hold their first meeting tomorrow, will listen to all the stakeholders in the division of Andhra Pradesh and report back to cabinet. "All points will be taken into consideration and justice will be done to the people of Andhra Pradesh", Shinde said. He added however that the recommendations of the GoM would take time to implement, given that it had to first submit its report to the cabinet, which would then be forwarded to the President who would send it back to cabinet after which it would be tabled in Parliament. He added that there was no question of the decision on Telangana being rolled back.
12.20 pm: How Andhra agitations are hitting TN's economy
Across the border from the on-the-boil Seemandhra region, the matchstick industry in Tamil Nadu is facing a daily loss of Rs 1.25 crore. A Times of India report said there are about 1,154 match factories in Tamil Nadu. Eight to ten loads of match consignments are unable to make it to their destinations owing to the agitations in Seemandhra, the report said. Industry body president Noor Mohammed was quoted as saying Andhra Pradesh, and specifically Hyderabad, are important transit routes for the consignments. "Another issue is non-availability of trucks. The trucks are stuck in Punjab, West Bengal, Haryana, Bihar and Delhi and we are not able to load the consignments," he was quoted as saying.
11.53 am: With Jagan in hospital, Naidu may be next
With fasting YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy taken into protective custody and forcibly put into hospital, attention is now turning to TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu who is fasting in Delhi against Telangana. Naidu has already been given an eviction notice from Andhra Bhavan, but has refused to leave, saying that if Reddy was allowed to fast in jail, there should be nothing preventing him from fasting at Andhra Bhavan. "I will continue my fast. I have done nothing wrong. I will not leave", a defiant Naidu told reporters on Wednesday. Meanwhile the Andhra resident commissoner has written to the home secretary, asking him to take action against the TDP chief since he has refused to respond to the Andhra Bhavan notice. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has meanwhile categorically said that the Andhra Bhavan problem was 'their problem' and he was 'not going to deal with it'.
11.00 am: TRS slams 'sadistic' CM Kiran Kumar Reddy
The TRS has slammed Kiran Kumar Reddy for being 'sadistic' and 'enjoying the misery of the Seemandhra people'. Reiterating that they would never accede to an united Andhra Pradesh, TRS leader KT Rama Rao said that Kiran Kumar's actions were not in line with that of a chief minister, adding that his open opposition to the centre's decision to bifurcate Telangana should have seen him sacked immediately. "As long as its own Chief Minister is openly saying he doesn't want Telangana, how can the people take the centre's promise of a separate state seriously?", he asked. The TRS has also called for President's rule in the state.
10.30 am: Jagan's mother reaches out to BJP
YSR Congress leader and mother of fasting Jaganmohan Reddy, Vijayamma has reached out to the BJP, asking party president Rajnath Singh to help them in their opposition to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. In the course of her 20-minute meeting with the BJP President, Ms. Vijayamma handed over a memorandum, listing reasons why her party was opposed to the bifurcation move, and asked Mr. Singh to reconsider the BJP’s stand on the issue. However she had refused to comment on a possible alliance with the party. The YSR Congress has previously categorically ruled out any possibility of a tie up with the BJP on the basis that they are opposed to its 'communal' stance. However recently Jagan seems to have been softening that stand, and making some overtures towards Narendra Modi. "I want BJP to change. I want Modi to change BJP. I want BJP to become secular… We don’t want Muzaffarnagar, we want Mohabbatnagar,” said Reddy, while admiring Modi for being a good administrator. (read more) His fast is also being seen as a way of scoring brownie points with the main opposition party, although at this stage he is likely not ruling out an alliance with Congress either.
8.42 am: Jagan refusing medicine, will be force fed, say doctors
YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy who had been on a five-day fast, has been moved to NIMS hospital after his health deteriorated. Reddy was taken into protective custody late Wednesday night. A doctor from the hospital told PTI that Jagan was refusing to take treatment but he will be given treatment forcefully after efforts are made to convince him for some more time. Meanwhile, Jagan's mother Vijayamma and other YSRCP leaders went to the hospital to enquire about his condition. Congress MP from Anantapur, Ananta Venkatrami Reddy had visited Jagan earlier in the day before he was taken to hospital. A team of policemen swooped on Jagan's house at around 2300 hours, demolishing the barricades set up by his supporters around his fast venue, and bodily lifted him before putting him into an ambulance and taking him straight to the hospital. There was no resistance from Jagan's supporters at the time of the police action. YSRCP senior leader Konatala Ramakrishna said "we wanted Jagan to call off his fast and again the lead the party".
8.25 am: TRS demands President's rule in Andhra
As protests and strikes showed no signs of abating across Andhra Pradesh, the pro-Telangana TRS demanded President's rule in the state. The party had also blamed the state government led by Congress Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy for letting the situation get out of hand, and asked the centre to take action against him. "Telangana is a constitutional demand that has been granted. If the CM is conspiring against it, he should be sacked immediately", said TRS leader KT Rama Rao. Kiran Kumar has been under the scanner for his actions and statements during the whole turmoil, and on Wednesday the former DIG of the state was quoted by the Times of India as saying that Kiran "had pressured him to issue a public statement that the creation of Telangana would lead to intensification of Maoist activities". The report added that Dinesh had also alleged that the CM had "reprimanded him for seeking additional central forces for containing expected trouble in Seemandhra in the run up to the Congress Working Committee's T resolution at the end of July." The Congress party for its part has already advocated the imposition of ESMA to end the blackouts across Andhra but have stopped short of President's rule. Spokesman PC Chacko, when asked whether President’s rule should be imposed on the state, said that such a situation might come, but was not there at present. “Government of Andhra Pradesh may be finding it difficult, but it is in control.” To a volley of questions on the attitude of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and whether he was a stumbling block for formation of the new state, he said, “There is scope for such an allegation, but not a fact… Differences we tolerate.”
7.15 am: Will ESMA be invoked to end Andhra power crisis?
As talks between striking power unions and Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy ended in stalemate for the second time in two days, the possibility of the Emergency Services act being used to restore power to the 13 affected districts grew stronger. The Congress has already spoken strongly in favour of implementing ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) as the situation across large parts of Andhra Pradesh grew increasingly desperate. News reports have chronicled that hospitals are facing massive obstacles trying to keep essential machinery operating, while increased demand for diesel to power generators has sparked a fuel crisis in many districts. Additionally, the entire southern grid remains at risk of tripping, which could plunge all four southern states into darkness. "Thirteen districts are without light, services in hospital have also been affected.The government is willing to talk to agitators. The state government should take strong action and Esma should be invoked," Congress leader PC Chacko told journalists on Wednesday. Asked whether President’s rule should be imposed on the state, he said that such a situation might come, but was not there at present. “Government of Andhra Pradesh may be finding it difficult, but it is in control.”
-- end of updates for 09 October --
11.00 pm: YSR Congress chief Jagan Reddy taken to hospital
According to CNN-IBN, Jagan Mohan Reddy was forcibly moved by the police and taken to hospital and placed in preventive custody. Today was the fifth day of Jagan's fast, which he has undertaken to protest the creation of Telangana.
10.05 pm: 12 hr power cut imposed as Telangana agitation continues
On the 71st day of the ongoing agitation opposing bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, agitators stopped the ongoing construction work of the Rayalaseema Thermal Power Project (RTTP) on Wednesday in Kadapa district. Five RTTP units generating 1050 MW continued to be closed for the fifth successive day, even as rallies and relay hunger strikes continued. A power cut was imposed by the Power Employees' JAC for 12 hours from 7.30 am to 7.30 pm. Meanwhile, agitators for a 'united' Andhra Pradesh monitored discussions of APNGOs with the AP chief minister. In a related development, Jammulamadugu Congress MLA C Adinarayana Reddy and his followers in about three hundred vehicles went to Hyderabad to greet YSR Congress president YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and join the YSR Congress party.
9.23 pm: YSR Cong delegation meets Prez to discuss Telangana formation
A YSR Congress Party delegation, led by its leader YS Vijayamma, today met President Pranab Mukurjee seeking his intervention to stop the process of division of Andhra Pradesh. "When three other states, including Madhya Pradesh, were divided, the respective state assemblies had passed resolutions to this effect. But in the case of Andhra Pradesh, the Centre has begun the bifurcation process without a resolution adopted by the state assembly," YSR Congress Party leader Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy, who was part of the delegation, told PTI He also said the AK Antony Committee, appointed by Congress to examine the situation following its decision to support the creation of a separate Telangana state, did not visit the state to elicit the views of people residing in both the regions -- Telangana and Seemandhra. "Against this backdrop, we met the President to stress the need for United Andhra Pradesh," Reddy, who represents Nellore constituency in Seemandhra region, said.
9.09 pm: Chiranjeevi named in Cong committee for Andhra Pradesh
Union minister Chiranjeevi from Seemandhra and Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Raja Narsimha who hails from Telangana are members of the Coordination Committee for Andhra Pradesh formed by Congress today when the separate statehood issue has led to protests in parts of the state.
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, who is in charge of party affairs in the state, is the convenor of the committee while PCC President Botsa Satyanarayana and Chief Minister Kirankumar Reddy are the other members. AICC Secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh Ramchadera Khuntia is also a member, party General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi announced. The committee has been approved by party chief Sonia Gandhi at a time when the party in the state has been divided on regional lines and the chief minister is also under attack from the supporters of separate Telangana. At the AICC briefing, party spokesman PC Chacko saw nothing wrong in dropping of Pallam Raju from the GoM going into the issue of state formation. "Those who resign from the government cannot continue in the GoM," Chacko said. Asked why there has been no timeframe given for the GoM in the revised terms of reference as against six week earlier, he said that decision on Telangana was "one of the most difficult" decisions.
6:22 pm: Congress demands Essential Services Act be used against striking employees
IBNlive reports that the Congress has demanded that the Essential Services Maintenance Act to bring back striking employees to work in Andhra Pradesh and particularly in the Seemandhra region. "14 districts are without light, services in hospital have also been affected. The government is willing to talk to agitators. The state government should take strong action and ESMA should be invoked," Congress spokesperson PC Chacko was quoted as saying. Given the talks between the government and the striking employees, particularly of the power generation plants has fallen through, will the state government actually go after them and take punitive action against them?
6:00 pm: Who says the crowds are out only to protest against Telangana We found this interesting picture of actress Pranitha at the inauguration of a showroom in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday. Check out the crowds that came for the function.
5:30 pm: Jaganmohan Reddy's mother meets BJP chief, YSR Congress chief's health worsens
CNN-IBN reports that Vijayamma, the honorary president of the YSR Congress and Jaganmohan Reddy's mother, is meeting with BJP chief Rajnath Singh in Delhi. This comes after Jaganmohan's fast entered its fifth day and the YSR Congress leader had hinted that he wouldn't entirely mind allying with the BJP and Modi. Meanwhile, NDTV reports that Jagan's condition has reportedly worsened and he is now suffering from dehydration and fever. Doctors have reportedly warned his blood sugar levels are very low and have said he could slip into a coma. However, the YSR Congress leader isn't willing to call off his strike and take fluids and medicines.
5:20 pm: Shinde refuses to get involved in evicting Naidu from AP Bhavan
And Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has spoken saying that there's no question of intervening in Chandrababu Naidu's fast. "We have nothing to do with it. Ye unka mamla hai. Hume kya karna hai? (It's their matter. What do we have to do with it?)," he told reporters here.
5:00 pm: Andhra Bhavan chief writes to Centre asking for Naidu to be evicted
More details have emerged on the letter written by the Andhra Pradesh government asking for the eviction of Chandrababu Naidu from Andhra Bhavan in Delhi, where he continues to fast. In a letter, Andhra Pradesh Resident Commissioner Shashank Goel requested Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami to ask Delhi Police to take necessary action to deploy additional police personnel to remove the "unauthorised" dharna in AP Bhavan premises and to prevent gathering of crowd. The letter said the hunger strike was in violation of Model Code of Conduct for elections to Delhi Assembly. Naidu, whose fast entered the third day today, however, remained defiant. "I am a resident of Andhra Pradesh and this great country, who has the right to protest. I will continue my hunger fast, wherever you put me," Naidu said. "I am not bothered about my health or life."
4.48 pm: First GoM meet over Telangana bifurcation on Friday
Notwithstanding ongoing protests in Seemandhra, Centre has expedited the process of creation of a separate Telangana state with the announcement that the first meeting of the GoM set up to look into the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh will be held on Friday. "The first meeting of the GoM on Telangana will be held day after tomorrow," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters here. Shinde will head the reconstituted Group of Ministers consisting of seven Union Ministers. Defence Minister AK Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, M Veerappa Moily and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh are among the members of the GoM. Minister of State for Personnel and Prime Minister's Office, V Narayanasamy, is the Special Invitee on the panel.
4.34 pm: Power crisis in Seemandhra to continue as govt, APNGOs talks fail
The power crisis in Seemandhra region will continue as talks between Andhra Pradesh government and APNGOs failed. Employees vowed to continue the indefinite strike in Seemandhra. This is the second times the talks have failed. Large parts of Andhra Pradesh have been in blackout since electricity employees went on strike against Telangana and there are also fears that the entire southern grid is at risk of tripping, which has the potential to cause blackouts in all four southern states. The power generation remained crippled at the major power stations including Vijayawada thermal power station and the Rayalaseema thermal power station, forcing authorities to impose power cuts ranging from 3-10 hours. The strike has brought to a standstill generation in all major power plants in Seemandhra. The strike has also impacted Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana with authorities imposing power cuts to tide over the shortage. The state has a demand of 11,000 MW, but only 7,200 MW is being supplied. According to officials of Andhra Pradesh Generation Corporation (AP Genco), generation of 3,870 MW has come to a halt. According to official sources, the total demand was 11,000 MW, while the supply was 7500 MW.
4.05 pm: Diesel for generators causes fuel crisis in Andhra
Increased demand for diesel to power generators has led to a severe fuel shortage in some parts of Andhra, forcing hospitals and motorists to buy fuel at exorbitant prices. According to the Hindu, hospitals in the Anantpur district were forced to buy diesel at Rs. 100 per litre to sustain operations while motorists bought petrol at close to Rs. 150 per litre.
3.25 pm: Vaccine preservations also severely hit by power outage
Another fallout of the ongoing power outage and transport strike in Telangana is that the effectiveness of vaccines administered to children in villages and other rural areas is taking a hit. According to this report in The Hindu, paramedical staff, after procuring the vaccines and finishing their duties, instead of depositing the vaccine back in Ice Lined Refrigerators (ILRs), are keeping them in normal refrigerators at their homes for weeks together, tampering with the temperature parameters. This can impact the effectiveness of the vaccine, which means that the target groups will not really be protected from the diseases they believe themselves to be inoculated against. Read more here
1:40 pm: Digvijaya says power restored to all emergency services in Seemandhra
NDTV quotes Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has said that electricity for emergency services has been restored in the Seemandhra region. The senior Congress leader was quoted as saying that Chief Minister Kiran Kumar reddy would meet with union representatives from the power plants where employees have gone on strike to protest the creation of Telangana.
1:30 pm: Sushilkumar Shinde says power could be delivered to AP from outside
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has said that the Centre can consider asking NTPC to supply power to the parts of the state hit by a power crisis. The power would be generated outside the state and would therefore be unaffected by the power plant workers' strike in the state. 1:15 pm: First GoM on Telangana to meet on Friday PTI reports that the first Group of Ministers on Telangana headed by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is to be held on Friday. 12:55 pm: Digvijaya Singh says Reddy had also agreed on Telangana In an exclusive interview with CNN-IBN, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh reiterated that there was no question of taking back the decision on forming the new state and the party had gone ahead with the decision only after consulting all parties. "Every party accepted it and gave their support in writing. We decided only when we saw there was consensus," he said. When CNN-IBN's Rajdeep Sardesai pointed out that even Congress Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy had opposed the decision to create the new state right now, Singh said it was unfortunate "I had a meeting with all top Congress leaders from both regions," he said, adding that they had all unanimously backed the decision. The party's decision was binding on all leaders from the state, including chief minister Reddy. He also questioned the actions of YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu, who he has maintained had backed the decision. "I am very surprised at Jagan and Chandrababu. After giving in writing they are going back on it. What kind of opportunism is this?" the Congress leader said. 12:45 pm: Transfers in the middle of riots So evidently despite claims that the entire state machinery had shut down, the Andhra Pradesh government has still managed to transfer bureaucrats on schedule. PTI reported that amidst the ongoing chaos the state government today transferred 15 IAS officers, including collectors of two and joint collectors of five districts. 12:35 pm: Police called to handle violent mob at petrol pump in Guntur district In Guntur, the police has been called out to handle a crowd that has allegedly surrounded a petrol pump, reported Times Now. 12:25 pm: Jagan Reddy's health deteriorating, mother to meet President CNN-IBN reports that as the hunger strike of YSR Congress Party chief Jaganmohan Reddy has entered its fifth day and his situation is reportedly deteriorating. His mother Vijayamma is scheduled to meet the President Pranab Mukherjee today. Meanwhile in Delhi, the Andhra resident commissoner has written to the home secretary to take action against TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu's fast since he's refused to end it despite asking him to not continue fasting in Andhra Bhavan. 12.05 pm: If anything happens to me, Sonia is to blame says Naidu Refusing to budge from Andhra Bhavan despite a notice to vacate the premises being issued to him, fasting TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu said that if anything were to happen to him, Congress President Sonia Gandhi would ne directly responsible. Addressing his supporters at Andhra Bhavan, Naidu said that he would continue to stay there and keep fasting, adding that the "government thinks that Sonia has the power and they can do anything. I am fasting for the Telugu people." 10.18 am: Kiran Kumar Reddy under scanner as agitations intensify The latest person to come under the scanner even as Telangana protests intensify is none other than troubled Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy. A scathing indictment by former DIG police Dinesh Reddy and the Chief Minister's own statements have meant that the Congress party is now in a situation where having to replace him may well be a real option. As of now, the party has said that it is 'watching' the situation to see how it unfolds. The former DIG, Dinesh Reddy, was quoted by the Times of India as saying that Kiran "had pressured him to issue a public statement that the creation of Telangana would lead to intensification of Maoist activities". The report added that Dinesh had also alleged that the CM had "reprimanded him for seeking additional central forces for containing expected trouble in Seemandhra in the run up to the Congress Working Committee's T resolution at the end of July." The Congress has been silent on the issue so far, but that doesn't mean that they are not aware of the situation, says The Hindustan Times. The report quoted sources within the Congress party as saying that although changing Reddy as Chief Minister was an option, doing so would not mean that the situation would come under control. The report adds: “There is also a question about finding a suitable replacement at such a volatile situation,” added another leader. Top Congress leaders, however, admitted that if the situation goes out of control, imposition of President’s rule would be a better option than changing Kiran Reddy and making him a hero. The BJP for its part has said that the situation with Kiran was further indication that it was handling Telangana all wrong. "Kiran Kumar Reddy was against Telangana from the start. But high command is not taking action even when he's openly defying them", said spokesman Prakash Javadekar. 9.30 am: Will essential services act be imposed in Andhra? Even as the power outage in Andhra Pradesh continues with no sign of letting up, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has indicated that the Essential Services Maintenance Act may be imposed to restore power in Seemandhra region, a report in the Hindustan Times said. Earlier Shinde sought to allay fears that the entire southern grid was at risk of tripping, saying that the situation was being closely monitored. The HT report quoted minister of state for power, Jyotiraditya Scindia as saying that although the Centre was closely watching the situation, electricity was the state government’s responsibility. Meanwhile according to this report in the Indian Express, agitating electricity workers in Seemandhra have been helping insulate the southern grid from damage. The report says: the Bangalore regional office of the national grid operator, Power System Operation Corp Ltd (POSOCO), is on high alert. Control room staff are working shifts to keep a round-the-clock watch for an impact of the Andhra situation on the operating parameters of the southern grid. The saving grace for them, though, is that the striking workers, who have crippled power generation by shutting three major stations, have simultaneously shut substations — the links between generating stations and consumers, through which power flows at several voltage levels — as well. 8.13 am: Congress releases letters by TDP and Reddy supporting Telangana In the midst of all the turmoil over the creation of Telangana, the three way war of words between Congress, TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu and YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy has intensified. Possibly stung by the blatant u-turns by both leaders, the Congress has released letters by both leaders, asking that a separate state for Telangana be created. One of the letters by Naidu, dated 18 October 2008 reads, "The politburo of Telegu Desam Party has discussed thoroughly on the conclusions arrived at by the core committee and agreed with its recommendations in favour of formation of a separate Telangana state." Another letter, dated 27 December 2012 reads, "In this context I would like to bring to your notice that our party has stated its opinion through its letter dated 18-10-2208 to the then Minister for External Affairs Sri Pranab Mukherjee and out letter is still with your government. We have not withdrawn our letter."
Reddy's letter, dated 28 December 2012, also says "We reiterate that out party respects the sentiments of the people of Telangana."
For their part however, both leaders are standing firm. Jagan's mother has denied that her party ever supported the creation of the state. "These are all baseless lies. Our party's stand was made clear in the letter we had written to the Home Minister in December 2012 where in we had clearly stated that we respect the sentiments of the people of Telangana, but wanted the Centre to find a solution acceptable to all, taking into consideration all aspects and problems in a fair, just and equitable manner as a father would do," she said according to this report in the Indian Express. And the Times of India quoted Naidu as saying that the Congress had no 'moral right' to attack his party: "Today, Digvijay Singh said he will discuss the issues concerning the bifurcation of the state, but he is attacking TDP. What about Congress, I ask. You have sacrificed your own party and your leaders in Andhra Pradesh for YSR Congress. Even your CM is opposing the bifurcation. If they can't convince their own people, what right do they have to attack TDP? They have no moral right". 6.40 am: Talks between power employees and CM fail, Andhra stares at indefinite blackout More bad news for Andhra Pradesh as talks between striking power employees and Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy have ended with no resolution. "Talks with the chief minister have failed. He requested us to call off the strike but we demanded that he give us a clear assurance on behalf of the Centre that the proposed division will not take place. He did not give us any positive reply. Therefore, we have decided to intensify our agitation. There will be no relief for the emergency services as well," Joint Action Committee (JAC )leaders V Saibaba and P Srinivasa Rao said after the meeting, according to Times of India. Large parts of Andhra Pradesh have been in blackout since electricity employees went on strike against Telangana and there are also fears that the entire southern grid is at risk of tripping, which has the potential to cause blackouts in all four southern states. The power generation remained crippled at the major power stations including Vijayawada thermal power station and the Rayalaseema thermal power station, forcing authorities to impose power cuts ranging from 3-10 hours. The strike has brought to a standstill generation in all major power plants in Seemandhra. The strike has also impacted Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana with authorities imposing power cuts to tide over the shortage. The state has a demand of 11,000 MW, but only 7,200 MW is being supplied. According to officials of Andhra Pradesh Generation Corporation (AP Genco), generation of 3,870 MW has come to a halt. According to official sources, the total demand was 11,000 MW, while the supply was 7500 MW. -- end of updates for 08 October -- 9.18 pm: More than 4,000 MW power supply affected in Andhra As much as 4,000 MW power supply in Andhra Pradesh has been impacted by protests against the bifurcation of the state. Large parts of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions plunged into darkness two days ago as power generation, transmission and distribution companies’ employees went on a strike as part of protests against the formation of Telangana. He added that a number of sub-stations and generating stations in the state have been affected but they belong to the state generation and transmission firms, not the Centre. "As far as central PSU plants are concerned they have not been affected at all," he added. The total installed capacity of Andhra Pradesh is over 17,000 MW. "We have decided to give them (AP) 300-400 MW from the National Grid but that can only be evacuated if they have the transmission capacity to absorb it," the official said. The Seemandhra region and also Hyderabad are facing power crisis as the employees of state’s power firms went on an indefinite strike on Sunday. 9.04 pm: Chandrababu Naidu demands all-party meet on Telangana Telugu Desam chief N Chandrababu Naidu, who is on a hunger strike to protest splitting of Andhra Pradesh, today demanded that an all-party meeting be convened at the earliest to discuss creation of Telangana state. He also demanded convening of the Joint Action Committees (JACs) of Telangana and Seemandhra regions to find an amicable solution to the vexed issue. "This government is going to be there for six months. After that there is no chance of it coming back. How are parties of the future going to settle this problem? What is their commitment? Why can't you call an all-party meeting at national level, discuss it with everybody? Sort it out amicably, that is what we demand," Naidu said. 8.46 pm: AK Antony now part of Telangana GoM, Pallam Raju dropped Barely two days after constituting a ten-member GoM on Telangana, government today reorganised the high-powered ministerial panel by dropping HRD Minister M Pallam Raju and bringing Defence Minister AK Antony, and also reducing the number of members to seven. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Defence Minister AK Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas M Veerappa Moily and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh are the members of the reconstituted GoM. Minister of State for Personnel and Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy will be the Special Invitee in the reconstituted Group of Ministers which will look into the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and formation of Telangana. Apart from Antony, the Union Ministers who were newly inducted in the GoM are Azad, Moily and Ramesh. The Union Ministers dropped from the GoM are Law Minister Kapil Sibal, Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, Road Transport Minister Oscar Fernandes, Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia besides Raju. 5.18 pm: Deeply concerned about Seemandhra protests, says Digvijaya The Congress on Tuesday expressed concern over the ongoing protests in the Seemandhra and appealed to the people of the region "to give up their agitation so that a solution to benefit both sides be arrived at". "We are deeply concerned about the agitation in Seemandhra," Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, in charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, said in a statement. "The Congress party appeals to the people of Seemandhra to give up their agitation so that a healthy dialogue process can move forward and a solution that will benefit both the sides be arrived at," he said. The Congress assured the people of Seemandhra that it remains committed to "addressing all their concerns particularly with respect to safeguarding the interests of the people living and working in the Telangana region, the concerns over education and employment opportunities in Hyderabad for their youth, the sharing of river and the power issue". He said a group of ministers formed by the central government would hold detailed consultations with all stake holders on these issues and other sensitive matter. IANS 3.30 pm: No respite for Andhra as large sections reel under blackout Large parts of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema continued to reel under a power blackout following a strike by electricity employees in protest against the division of Andhra Pradesh. The power generation remained crippled at the major power stations including Vijayawada thermal power station and the Rayalaseema thermal power station, forcing the authorities to impose power cuts ranging from 3-10 hours. According to official sources, the total demand was 11,000 MW, while the supply was 7500 MW. "The power generation was affected mostly in the power plants located in Seemandhra regions. These include both thermal and hydel," an official told PTI. Appealing tp employees to end their strike, state Congress president Botsa Satyanarayana said he would write a letter to the Centre to call an all-party meeting towards finding a solution to the issue. Pro-united Andhra employees unions are to hold talks with the Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy tomorrow. Meanwhile, protests continued today in the Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions against bifurcation of the state. 3.00 pm: No need for President's rule in Andhra, says Shinde Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has said that there is no need for President's rule in Andhra Pradesh, despite the worsening law and order situation. "We are monitoring the situation and I am in touch with the Chief Minister", Shinde was quoted as saying by CNN-IBN. The Home Minister had also slammed both YRS Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy and TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu, asking why there was a need to fast, when both politicians had already given the centre letters supporting the creation of Telangana. Meanwhile Times Now reported that Shinde had also said that there was no danger of the southern grid failing despite the continuing strike by Seemandhra power employees. 2.20 pm: Chandrababu Naidu refuses to stop fasting at Andhra Bhavan Undeterred by a notice asking him to withdraw his hunger strike at Andhra Bhavan, Telugu Desam Party leader Chandrababu Naidu today said he would continue his fast to protest against the split of Andhra Pradesh. "What crime I have committed? When Jaganmohan Reddy was in jail, he took part in fast against jail manual. But why should I vacate from Andhra Bhavan as I am under fast for a good cause," he told PTI. Residence Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh served a notice to the TDP chief stating that the hunger strike is "unauthorised" as permission was granted only for a Press meet at the venue, TDP spokesman Shiva Prasad Rao said. Naidu began an indefinite fast here yesterday to protest against the split of Andhra Pradesh, accusing Congress of playing politics in view of the Lok Sabha polls, but remained ambivalent on Telangana. 1.29 pm: I want an amicable solution, insists Naidu TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu in an interview with CNN-IBN has refused to say outright what his stand on a resolution on Telangana would be, saying only that he wants an 'amicable solution'. "There should be a solution without a political repercussion. There should be no law and order situation", he said without answering whether or not he would support the resolution of Telangana in the Andhra state assembly. Naidu also repeated his demands for an all-party meet at the national level, although he was unclear on as to what outcome he expected from such a meeting. He also refuted charges that he was playing politics, saying that he was looking for the welfare of the Andhra people. "I am not playing Telangana card, or Seemandhra card. I am playing Telugu people card. They should have peace", he said, 1.25 am: I am pro-Telangana, my issue is the way it was done, says Naidu TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu has said that his fast against the creation of Telangana is not a switch of positions, saying that it was not the division of the state that was the problem, but the manner in which the Congress had carried it out. "The Telangana decision has only been taken for political gain at the expense of the Telegu people", he told CNN-IBN. He also repeated his allegation that there was 'political match-fixing' between the Congress and Jaganmohan Reddy. 11.52 am: Power supply restored in west, east Godavari districts In what comes as a major relief for those living in Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, NDTV reports that power supply has been restored after almost two days, following protests by power sector employees. The five coastal districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and West Godavari districts faced power cuts since early Monday because of the strike. On Monday, Hardly 2,990 MW of thermal power was produced as against the installed capacity of 6,090 MW in the state. Similarly, power from the hydel generation stood at 1,694 MW against the installed capacity of 3,937 MW. Several gas-based power plants have been shut due to gas shortage.
11.43 am: Andhra Bhavan issues notice to Naidu to vacate immediately Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu, who is on an indefinite hunger strike against the creation of Telangana, has been asked to vacate the Andhra Bhavan in New Delhi, reported CNN-IBN. Naidu was served a notice on Tuesday morning and asked to immediately leave the bhawan, the channel said. However Naidu is defiant and has said that as the Andhra Bhavan is for the people from the state and he is fighting on their behalf, so he has the right to sit on fast there. Read more 11.28 am: Vizianagaram curfew relaxed for an hour Curfew in Vizianagaram town was eased for an hour this morning after normalcy began to return in the violence-hit area even as strict vigil was being maintained during the relaxation period. Deputy Inspector General of Police (Vizag) P Umapathi told PTI that the curfew was relaxed from 7-8 AM to facilitate people to purchase essential commodities like milk and petrol. He said the situation is peaceful and now under control as there has been no fresh violence since yesterday. Yesterday, District Collector Kantilal Dande reviewed the law and order situation with top police officials including Additional Director General of Police J Purnachandra Rao, Deputy Inspector General Dwaraka Tirumala Rao and Superintendent of Police Karthikeya. According to police sources, a total of 110 persons involved in violent incidents have been taken into custody and a special team has been formed to nab those indulging in violence. Curfew was clamped in Vizianagaram town on Saturday night in wake of large-scale violence by anti-Telanga agitators. 10.18 am: President's rule in Andhra amid administrative breakdown? Four Seemandhra Congress ministers, HRD minister MM Pallam Raju, tourism minister K Chiranjeevi, minister of state for commerce D Purandeswari and Kotla Surya Prakash Reddy have asked the Prime Minister to immediately accept their resignations, and have said that they will not come into office as of today to show solidarity with the striking people of Seemandhra. With administrative machinery coming to a grinding halt across Andhra Pradesh, the big question now is whether President's rule will be imposed in the restive state. An ongoing power crisis and a shutdown in various sectors including education and government service is crippling the state and its economy, while protests are getting increasingly violent. An NDTV report said, that in Visakhapatnam, power cuts have hit the only super-specialty government hospital in the region resulting in most of the incubators not working. Lack of air conditioners have affected patients with burn injuries and other such ailments. (read more) Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the situation, and now speculation is rising that President's rule will be imposed. As Firstpost writer Usha Turaga Revelli notes: with Seemandhra protests escalating to an unprecedented scale and spread, the CM fretting openly, the leaders caught between the devil and the deep sea, and the Congress state-in-charge asking the CM to do something about law and order quickly, it appears the note may never have to be presented to the Assembly at all. If Vizianagaram is anything to go by, the Congress will jump at a chance to push for President’s rule, something neither the protesters nor the people’s representatives of Seemandhra regions want. (Read more) 9.30 am: Andhra CM calls striking unions for talks Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy called the various associations and employees unions of Seemandhra which are on an indefinite strike for talks on 9 October, says a report in the Indian Express. The call for talks comes even as most of Andhra Pradesh is struggling without electricity after power sector employees joined the strike against the creation of Telangana. On Monday, Hardly 2,990 MW of thermal power was produced as against the installed capacity of 6,090 MW in the state. Similarly, power from the hydel generation stood at 1,694 MW against the installed capacity of 3,937 MW. Several gas-based power plants have been shut due to gas shortage. With no exemption to emergency services, patients in hospitals faced severe hardships while drinking water supply was affected in many areas. Internet services werehit. Even ATMs and mobile phones collapsed in some areas. Visakhapatnam Airport ran on back-up power. In Hyderabad, authorities imposed power cuts for two to three hours. 8.45 am: Andhra power officials battle to save southern grid With officials from all four southern states worried about the effect of the Andhra Pradesh power employees strike on the southern grid, officials are now taking steps to ensure that the grid does not trip. According to a report in TOI, the centre has issued a directive to Andhra state officials to cut generation so that frequency does not drop below 49.5 hertz. "Since we are maintaining the frequency level at 49.6 hertz at present, there is no immediate threat to the southern grid. Our load dispatch centres are monitoring the situation every minute," Munindra, in-charge CMD, APTransco, told TOI. The Indian electricity grid code says that the permissible frequency band for grid operations to be followed strictly by all member states is 49.5Hz to 50.2Hz. Read the entire report here 7.32 am: Southern grid at risk as power employees continue strike As the strike by electricity employees in Seemandhra entered a second day, the whole region was plunged into darkness. However the impact of the power strike may have much wider ramifications, with the entire southern grid at risk of shutting down. According to a report in the Times of India: Apprehending the crisis could lead to the collapse of the southern grid, power officials from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Pondicherry sought the intervention of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) which in turn directed AP officials to ensure that the crisis didn't spin out of control. The collapse of the southern grid will lead to a total blackout in the southern states. Meanwhile the IANS news agency said that the power strike also badly affected train traffic. Dozens of towns and hundreds of villages were without electricity as generation and transmission came to a standstill. With no exemption to emergency services, patients in hospitals faced severe hardships while drinking water supply was affected in many areas. Internet services werehit. Even ATMs and mobile phones collapsed in some areas. Visakhapatnam Airport ran on back-up power. In Hyderabad, authorities imposed power cuts for two to three hours. Hundreds of train passengers were stranded at various stations in Srikakulam district bordering Odisha as the movement of trains between Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam went haywire. For the second day, railways cancelled several trains in Vijayawada, Guduru and other sections. Vijayawada, one of the biggest transit hubs in south India, was the worst hit. Some trains ran with diesel engines. -- end of updates for 7 October -- 10.23 pm: Sufficient forces deployed in Telangana, Shinde tells PM Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde updated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the protests in Andhra Pradesh over the proposed bifurcation of the state, informed sources said on Monday. Shinde told the prime minister that sufficient forces have been deployed in the Seemandhra region (as Rayalseema and coastal Andhra are collectively known) to keep law and order situation under control and restore noramlcy, said the sources. 9.44 pm: Railways halt train service in wake of Andhra protests East Coast Railways today halted operations of four express trains and all local/passenger trains originating and terminating at Visakhapatnam in the wake of agitation in Andhra Pradesh, official sources said. Power crisis in Andhra Pradesh is a factor behind the cancellation of the trains, Railway sources said. The express trains cancelled on Tuesday were 17015 Up Bhubaneswar-Secunderabad Visakha Express, 12898 Up Bhubaneswar-Puducherry Weekly Express, 18411 Up Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatnam Intercity Express and 18412 down Visakhapatnam-Bhubaneswar Intercity Express. However, for the comfortable journey of the train passengers stranded enroute, East Coast Railway has arranged diesel locomotives for movement of long distance trains. 8.51 pm: Shinde assures amicable solution for Telangana issue Expressing concern over protests in Seemandhra against Andhra Pradesh's bifurcation, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today assured all regions of the state of an amicable solution that safeguards the interests of all. "We are confident of achieving an amicable solution that gives safeguards to people of all regions in the state," he told PTI here after a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh whom he briefed about the situation in Seemandhra witnessing anti-Telangana protests. Shinde's statement came close on the heels of five Union Ministers of Seemandhra region meeting the Prime Minister requesting him to accept their resignations over the issue of creation of Telangana. Noting that the widespread agitation in Seemandhra protesting against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh was a matter of grave concern to the Centre, he said "the government of India fully respects the sentiments of the people of the region on this sensitive issue". "I would like to assure the people of Seemandhra that the government of India remains fully committed to addressing all their concerns, particularly with respect to safeguarding the interests of people living in Telengana, the concerns with regard to education and employment and opportunities in Hyderabad for the youth, sharing of river waters and issue of government employees," he said. The Home Minister said the Group of Ministers, set up to go into the details of the new state formation, will address all these and other issues in a comprehensive manner and will hold detailed consultations with all stakeholders. "I appeal to the people of Seemandhra to create an environment for a healthy dialogue process. I am confident that we can achieve an amicable solution that benefits and safeguards the interests of people of all the regions of Andhra Pradesh," he said.
8.41 pm: No scope to reconsider Telangana bifurcation, says RPN Singh
There is no scope to "reconsider" the proposed creation of Telangana and violent protests on the issue were being backed by parties which had earlier supported the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister RPN Singh said today. "The government is not going to reconsider the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of Telangana. The ongoing protests in the name of a united Andhra are being led by political parties which had in the past supported the idea of a new state. This is very unfortunate," Union Minister of State for Home RPN Singh said. He said that adequate security arrangements are in place in the region. "We have made adequate security arrangements in the violence-hit regions of Andhra Pradesh and any attempts to disturb peace will be dealt with sternly," he said. "There is a Group of Ministers in place, set up by the Prime Minister, for looking into grievances of people who fear that the creation of a new state is going to affect them adversely. People should raise whatever concerns they have before the GoM," the Union Minister said. "There is no need to hit the streets," Singh said on the sidelines of a function organised on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the Rapid Action Force (RAF).
7:45 pm: Shinde appeals for environment conducive to dialogue
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has expressed concern over the violence in the Seemandhra region, reports CNN-IBN. The Home Minister has appealed to people to create an environment conducive to dialogue. Too little too late?
7:15 pm: Will stay and fight against decision on Telangana, says Reddy
The Chief Minister refused to commit to resigning over the issue and said that he didn't care about holding on to the seat of power. "My seat is a small sacrifice," he said. He also said that the government should keep in abeyance any decision to go ahead with the formation of the new state of Telangana. "No decision should be taken... Surely not before elections," he said. Reddy said that the party's leaders from the Seemandhra region would convince the party's high command about the flawed nature of the decision. "We will convince our high command abotu the problems being faced by the people... The decision has been taken but it is not easy for the high command also. To solve one problem you cannot make a bigger problem. That is what we need to convince them," Reddy said. He criticised the decision of leaders like Jaganmohan Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu to undertake a hunger strike against the formation of the new state. "Chandrababu Naidu and Jaganmohan Reddy have at some point supported the creation of Telangana...From the Seemandhra area we have never asked for the state to be split and we have always wanted a united state," he said. "We cannot bear to see that the people of the state is jeopardised by this decision... I have been trying to convince them that the progress of the state seems to be dependent on the state saying united," Reddy said. He said the decision on the formation of the new state should not proceed until the people's concerns were addressed. "We have said in no uncertain terms that the people's concerns are above any politics. Until the people's concerns are addressed we cannot go ahead," he said. 6:55 pm: Reddy says the Assembly must pass the cabinet resolution "Only after the cabinet resolution comes to the Assembly any decision can be taken," he said. The Chief Minister said that as per the constitution the Assembly had to pass the cabinet's decision before the state could be split. "It should debated in the assembly... People should know the advantages of the formation of Telangana," Reddy said. The Chief Minister said that it didn't matter what he thought, but what mattered was what people of Hyderabad and state thought about a shared state capital. "An amicable solution acceptable to everyone should be there.... We cannot have people of a certain area affected by the decision," Reddy said. He pointed out that over 6 lakh government employees were on strike and the administration was in talks with them to return to work. He refused to comment on the wisdom of the government in taking the decision. 6:45 pm: Kiran Kumar Reddy says people of Seemandhra have many concerns In an exclusive interview with CNN-IBN, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh said that the people of Seemandhra were protesting only over various concerns that primarily centred around Hyderabad and other matters. "The people of the state specially Seemandhra there is a lot of concern and worry about their future," Reddy said. "The capital of a state has never been divided before," he said. Water, electricity and power distribution are also areas of concern, the chief minister said. "Politically the party has taken a decision and it is for the government to decide how to handle it," Reddy said. He said that despite multiple committees not a single concern of the people of Seemandhra had been addressed. "Not a single concern of the state has been addressed by the government," the Chief Minister said. He also denied that it was political opportunism that drove the decision. "The people of the state is much bigger than political parties and their concerns," he said. 6.17 pm: Asked PM to accept our resignations, says Purandeshwari Devi Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Purandeshwari Devi today after meeting the PM told the media four ministers including herself have asked the PM to accept the resignations. "We told the PM that given the situation over Telangana we will be unable to continue in our posts," Purandeshwari Devi said. She said they asked the PM to rethink the formation Telangana. 5:20 pm: PM meets Home Minister, Finance Minister and Seemandhra MPs The Prime Minister is meeting with the Home Minister, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and some MPs from Seemandhra to discuss the ongoing protests in the state. 5:10 pm: Naidu's indefinite fast to come to a screeching halt? The Andhra Bhavan resident commissioner has denied permission to Chandrababu Naidu to continue his fast from Andhra Bhavan, reports CNN-IBN. It's not clear where the former chief minister of the state now plans to take his agitation. Naidu's sure to see a political conspiracy in this development, and he's not wrong to do so. The good part is that if he does choose to end his indefinite hunger strike today, he couldn't pick a better place in Delhi to end it. 4:40 pm: CM Kiran Kumar Reddy says Centre should consider protests Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy himself made a strong case for stopping the split of the state and said that it wasn't right for the Centre to take the decision when over six lakh persons were on strike and protesting. He pointed to the fact that thousands of crores were lost due to the ongoing agitation against the formation of the state. "No one has done an agitation when they are losing thousands of crores a month. It is the concern that the people have for the state of Andhra Pradesh," Reddy said in an exclusive interview with Times Now. "We are telling the central government to address these concerns before they go ahead," he said. The Chief Minister also promised to restore electricity from the power plants where employees have gone on strike. "Continuous dialogue is going on," Reddy said. He said that there was no power shortage due to the power plant shutting down and they were working on it. "We are requesting the people to come back to work. Since it is a long drawn process are requesting employees to come back to ensure people don't suffer," Reddy said. "People are also supporting this agitation and it is not right to make them suffer," he said. 3.36 pm: Power crisis continues; price of food items sky rocket Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions continued to reel under power crisis as electricity employees of the two areas stood on with their strike on Monday against the Union Cabinet’s decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. The strike has forced cancellation of several train services and also the ongoing 'Brahmotsavams' at Tirumala hills, the abode of Lord Venkateswara at Tirupati. Meanwhile, according to a Hindustan Times report, prices of food items have sky rocketed. A packet of milk costing Rs 18 is now being sold at Rs 70, while a kilogram of tomatoes are priced at Rs 170. 3. 21 pm: Genuine concerns of Seemandhra will be met, says Digvijaya Congress General Secretary and party in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Digvijaya Singh today sought to assuage the feelings of Seemandhra people saying their genuine concerns on security, education and employment in Hyderabad would be taken care of. "Assure all Seemandhra people of their genuine concern of security in H'bad Education, Health Employment and package for Development," Singh tweeted.
Assure all Seemandhra people of their genuine concern of Security in H'bad Education , Health Employment and package for Development. — digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) October 7, 2013
3.08 pm: Smaller states prone to problems of Naxalism, says Mulayam Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Monday said his party is opposed to the bifurcation of states saying smaller states are prone to problems such as Naxalism. "We are opposed to creation of smaller states by dividing bigger states. Such administrative units are prone to problems due to lack of resources. Naxalism is one major problem which is prevailing in smaller states," he told reporters in New Delhi. 2.20 pm: I am fasting for justice and dharma, concludes Naidu This press conference is admittedly veering towards the bizarre. After being cross examined about his stand on Telangana, Naidu says "How many children do you have? Can you have 12 children?" to which the journalist says, "Yes I can. Why not?" After a short debate on the ability or inability to have 12 children, Naidu finally gets to the point. Which is, 'If I have two or even twelve children, I will treat them all equally". "I have come here for Dharma. I have come here for justice. It is very unfortunate that I have had to fast", said Naidu before also declaring that this is the first time that someone of his stature has gone on fast. "Today, Seemandhra people are suffering. They feel nobody is coming to their rescue", he added. 2.11 pm: Jagan is hand in glove with Congress, says Naidu After trying his hand at some Italian (and not doing very well, we must admit) and slamming Congress, Naidu turns his way to his fasting rival YSR Jaganmohan Reddy, saying that he would also inevitably join hands with the Congress. "The Congress made it easy for Jagan to get bail so that he would join hands with them later", he said. He added that after appeasing Jagan in this way, the Congress was also wooing the TRS by creating Telangana. "YSR promised to get seats in Seemandhra and then support Congress party. This is dirty politics". "Congress spokesperson, 'the great Digvijaya' said Congress will have alliance with YSR Congress", he added. He also asked why no one from the Congress had visited the state in the midst of agitation, adding that even Indira Gandhi had visited the state of Andhra Pradesh to express her condolences. 2.00 pm: Naidu tries some Italian to get Telangana message to Delhi TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu, who started an indefinite fast in new Delhi to protest a cabinet decision to go ahead with the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and create a separate state for Telangana, has slammed the Congress government for playing politics over Andhra and completely ignoring the sentiments of the people in the state. Addressing the media a few hours after he began his strike, Naidu also said, "The way Congress has behaved in last 70 days has led common man to lose confidence in them. Democracy is not just about wining and losing or votes and seats. When there are problems there needs to be deliberations and finally a solution. But Congress is not interested in a solution". And in a jibe that was hard to miss, Naidu used the word 'immobilismo' an Italian word that means opposition to progress, to get the message across to 'someone' in the Delhi central government. 1.53 pm: Live: Anti-Telangana protestor sets himself on fire A 30-year-old Seemandhra protestor has set himself on fire over the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. He has since been admitted in the Anantpur hospital with 90 percent burns, said a report in The Hindu. The report quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the man had been actively participating in road blocks and other protests against the creation of Telangana. "He has been so involved in the Samaikyandha protests that he stopped going to work. Despite my pleas to not get emotional over the issue, he has done such a horrific thing to himself", his wife was quoted as saying. Read more here 10.00 am: Telangana violence due to Congress mishandling situation: D Raja CPI leader D Raja has blamed the Congress for the violation in Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra, saying that they had mishandled the situation. Speaking to media Raja said, "Telangana is one of the oldest demands in the country. The bifurcation should have taken place without hostility. But the Congress party mishandled everything. This is why we are witnessing turmoil in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. He also appealed to the people to maintain tranquility in Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra to maintain tranquility, and said that the rights and interests of all parties needed to be defended at any cost. 9.00 am: Telangana is not just an Andhra issue, says Naidu TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu has said that he is fasting in Delhi to draw attention to the fact that the formation of Telangana and its violent fallout is a national issue and not something the Congress can chop and change according to their whims and convenience. Speaking to reporters ahead of his indefinite fast, Naidu said "People have been agitating for over 70 days now. Shouldn't the Congress call for an all-party meeting?" He added that the issue of Telangana was an issue of the Telegu people, but that it had national implications as well. Before leaving for Delhi, the TDP chief said, "The (Telangana) decision is national match-fixing. Congress didn't follow any procedures. They only want to take political advantage." The TDP says it will also write to the leaders of all parties on the statehood issue and expose the "opportunistic politics" of the Congress. 8.54 am: If Rahul can roll back an ordinance, why not Telangana, asks Jagan YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy, who is now entering the third day of his indefinite fast against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, has said that he cannot see why the cabinet order on Telangana cannot be repealed when Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi managed to kill an entire ordinance. In an exclusive interview with the Economic Times, Jagan said that in the case of Telangana, democracy had been 'overruled for the sake of votes'. "Anybody who respects democracy have to keep in mind that never in this country was a separate state carved out without a resolution being passed in the assembly", he said. He also denied that he had changed his stand on Telangana, saying that he was on the side of justice. "When 60% of the state is agitating on the roads that injustice is being done to them, can someone say they did (the state bifurcation) without injustice to anyone?", he asked. Read the whole interview here 8.04 am: Tone down policy on Telangana, BJP workers tell party leaders While the Congress has been battling an internal turmoil over its decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh, the BJP, who were until now supporting a separate state of Telangana, may have a little backtracking to do. According a report in the Hindustan Times, at least 70 party leaders from Rayalaseema and Seemandhra met party president Rajnath Singh asking that they tone down their Telangana policy considering anger on the streets. "We cannot be blind to the anger pouring out on the streets,” one of the BJP leaders from Seemandhra told HT. The report adds that the precarious position that the BJP is now faced with, has put the future of the Telangana bill in jeopardy. "Twenty five Lok Sabha MPs from Seemandhra — including 19 from the Congress — may oppose the state’s bifurcation. And parties like the Samajwadi Party and the CPI(M) have already stated their opposition to the division", it adds. 7.14 am: Naidu to begin fast in Delhi today TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu will begin his indefinite fast in the national capital today. Naidu has demanded that the central government review its 'unilateral decision' keeping in mind the sentiments of Telugu people. Naidu also accused Congress of entering into an "arrangement" with TRS and YSR Congress vis-a-vis the bifurcation decision. 7.00 am: Power crisis hits Andhra as electricity employees strike Several towns and hundreds of villages in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh Sunday plunged into darkness while at least four express and 24 passenger trains were cancelled as the indefinite strike by electricity employees to protest the decision to divide the state hit power generation and supply. Following talks with the officials on Sunday night, employees agreed to restore supply in six districts but made it clear that they would resume the strike Monday morning. Supply was restored in Chittoor, Kadapa, Nellore, Guntur, Prakasam and Krishna districts after the managing director of Southern Power Distribution Company Limited HY Dora held talks with employees' leaders. The strike caused severe inconvenience to people in Seemandhra, as Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra are together known. There was no exemption to emergency services like hospitals, water supply and agriculture. Power supply in Vijayawada, Guntur, Ongole, Nellore, Anantapur and other towns was also hit. In south coastal Andhra, employees cut supply to even the houses of central and state ministers, blaming them for the failure to stall the central government's decision to carve out separate Telangana state. (IANS) -- end of updates for 06 October -- 1. 50 pm: Protests turn violent in Vijayawada Anti-Telangana protests have reportedly turned violent in Vijaywada. According to reports, YSR Congress Party Chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's supporters have blocked roads and are burning tyres to protest the formation of state. Meanwhile, Jagan Mohan Reddy continued his indefinite hunger strike against the creation of a separate state for Telangana for the second day on Sunday. Earlier, expressing deep anguish over the arbitrary bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Reddy has blamed Congress President Sonia Gandhi for the "crisis" in the state and accused her of exploiting sentiments of people to pave way for Rahul Gandhi to become prime minister. 12. 50 pm: Anti-Telangana protests hit power supply in Andhra, disrupt train services An indefinite strike launched on Sunday by electricity employees of Rayalaseema and the coastal region of Andhra Pradesh hit power supply in six districts of the state and also forced the railways to cancel train services. Hundreds of villages in six coastal Andhra districts plunged into darkness as the electricity employees went on an indefinite strike to protest the Centre's decision to create a separate Telangana state. Seemandhra electricity employees' Joint Action Committee (JAC) said over 30,000 electricity employees were participating in the strike in Seemandhra, as Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions are collectively known. The indefinite strike began after an earlier 48-hour-long strike ended on Sunday to protest the Union Cabinet's decision to bifurcate the state. 10.09 am: Pallam Raju is reconsidering resignation: reports HRD Minister Pallam Raju who met Sonia Gandhi over the weekend is likely to consider his resignation, says a report in the Indian Express. Raju only said that the Congress President had asked him not to act in haste, but the indications were that the minister may reverse his decision to step down. No further details on the matter were immediately available. 10.00 am: Curfew imposed in Vijayanagaram Situation remained tense in Vizianagaram town of coastal Andhra Sunday despite indefinite curfew imposed by the police Saturday night to control the violence, which broke out after union cabinet's decision to divide the state. Violating the curfew, people in some parts of the town took to the streets Sunday morning and pelted stones on policemen. Police resorted to baton charge on a group of protestors, mainly the small traders at Kota Junction, about 700 km from Hyderabad. Additional police and paramilitary forces were deployed in the home town of state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana, whose properties were damaged by the protestors during last two days, blaming him for the failure to stall state's division. With reports of students and protestors from Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam reaching the town, the police sealed the entry points. Security was further tightened at the residences and other properties of Satyanarayana and his family members. The curfew was clamped after large-scale violence and arson for the second consecutive day Saturday. The protestors set afire dozens of vehicles, public and private property. The streets turned into battle zone with protestors pelting stones on policemen at several places. Meanwhile YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy's indefinite fast against the creation of the state entered its second day. 9.40 am: Why only Andhra, why not Vidarbha or Bodoland, asks Jagan YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy who began an indefinite fast against the creation of a separate state for Telangana, asked why only Telangana was being made a separate state and not Vidarbha or Bodoland. "Why can't the Congress grant Bodoland, Gorkhaland, Vidarbha and Harith Pradesh demands? In fact for Vidarbha and the division of UP resolutions have been passed by the respective assemblies. Instead of looking into these demands why is the Congress targeting Andhra?", Reddy was quoted by the Times of India as saying. The separatist movements for states like Bodoland and Gorkhaland did in fact receive a fresh fillip when the Congress first announced the creation of a state for Telangana. You can read more about that here. 9.00 am: Telangana to blackout all of Andhra? Electricity employees of Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions of Andhra Pradesh will go on indefinite strike from Sunday to protest the central government's decision to carve out a separate Telangana state. Over 30,000 electricity employees in Seemandhra, as the Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions are collectively known, are likely to join the strike called by the Seemandhra electricity employees Joint Action Committee (JAC). JAC chairman Sai Baba announced that there would be no exemption to emergency services like hospitals, water supply and agriculture. He said the strike would continue till the central government takes back the decision to divide the state. The strike is likely to affect the electricity generation and supply not just in the 13 districts of Seemandhra but also Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana. The strike may also hit the southern grid as all four southern states - Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu - are interlinked. -- end of updates for 5 October 2014 -- 2.40 pm: Jagan Reddy sounds out Modi again, but doesn't rule out alliance with Congress Speaking exclusively to CNN IBN, Jaganmohan Reddy who has began an indefinite strike to oppose the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, said that the Congress government has split a state without considering important issues like water supply. "Where will we get water from. There are so many tribunals, yet every year Karnataka and Tamil Nadu fight over water-sharing from Cauvery. The issue has still not been resolved. Imagine if another state comes up, what will be the specifics of water sharing," he asked. He also voiced his concerns about the employment prospects of people from the Seemandhra regions. When questioned if there is an ongoing tussle over cashing in on the vulnerable sentiments of the people in Seemandhra after the split, Jagan pointed out that his party has been on a protest mode against the split for a long time now. "This is not the first time I have gone on a fast to protest the split. I went on a month-long fast in Chanchalguda jail before the split. My mother had gone on a hunger-strike to stop the government from bifurcating Andhra Pradesh. For the past two months, so many protests have been organised here, so many people have gone on fast, shouldn't Delhi take notice?" he asked. Pledging support to Chandrababu Naidu if the TDP chief made his protests official, Jagan called all parties to come out in support of an United Andhra. "We have no political mileage to gain out of this. We won by a huge margin in all the state by elections. There was one Lok Sabha bypoll, that too we won with a margin of 3 lakh votes. So we have no political agenda behind this stir. Ask Chandrababu Naidu to write a letter to the PM asking him to not bifurcate Andhra like we did, ask Chandrababu Naidu to write a letter to the government to reconsider his decision, then he can go on a fast. We will support any party which is against the splitting of the state," said Reddy. Meanwhile, he reiterated that while he admired Narendra Modi's administrative skills, he will also continue leading a secular party. "I said Modi is a good administrator, which he is. But we have always been a secular party and will continue being so. I don't think that in a country like India you should discriminate against people on the basis of their religion. No community should be made to feel insecure in our country. Then forget fighting in the borders, there will be internal terrorism," he said, ticking off the BJP and not completely dismissing the Congress at the same time. He also urged that the BJP should change and urged Modi to change the party's philosophy. "I want BJP to change. I want Mod to change BJP. I want BJP to become secular," said Jagan Reddy. "We don't want Muzaffarnagar, we want Mohabbatnagar," he said. 12.25 pm: Jagan Reddy begins indefinite fast Jagan Reddy began fasting without great fireworks. In fact, he didn't even address the crowd gathered outside before beginning the fast. He was seen waving before making a hurried entry into the YSR Congress office premises. 12.01 pm: Seemandhra remains paralysed for second day on a row As the stir against granting statehood to Telangana gained momentum the areas that fall under Seemandhra have continued to remain paralysed. PTI reports: Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) and other united-AP supporters have given a 48-hour bandh call, while Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress has called for 72-hour shutdown in the non-Telangana regions. Both protests began yesterday morning. Educational and commercial establishments remained closed in Seemandhra (coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema), where normal life was thrown out of gear. Dwaraka Tirumala Rao, IG (Coastal Andhra) said, they have deployed additional forces keeping in view attacks on residences and properties of some Congress leaders yesterday. 11.21 am: Jagan reaches fast venue Delayed by almost an hour and half, Jagan Mohan Reddy has just reached the fast venue - the YSR Congress office right close to his house. Though footage showed supporters trying to mob a smiling Reddy as he made his way into the office, the CNN IBN reporter said that the crowd that has turned up isn't as overwhelming as apprehended. Sources said the crowds are likely to swell once Reddy begins his fast. Following the resignation of five union ministers, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu has promised to go on a similar fast from Monday, October 7. 10.45 am: TRS chief suspects ploy to snatch Hyderabad behind YSR rally As Jagan Mohan Reddy intensifies his stir against the UPA government, a completely different set of conspiracy theories are doing the rounds of Telangana. According to a report on the Times of India, Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao has seen a sinister motive behind the protests against the formation of Telangana. He has suggested that the movement has been designed to gain greater control over Hyderabad by political leaders from Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra region. The TOI reports:
In a close-door meeting convened at his farm house in Medak, KCR is understood to have expressed his apprehensions over the Seemandhra lobby still out to influence the Centre over the status of Hyderabad. "We should stay alert and put pressure on the Centre till the Telangana bill is passed in both the houses of Parliament to the satisfaction of the people of the region," he reportedly told them.
10:00 am Huge turnout expected at YSR Congress rally The YSR Congress is expecting a huge turnout from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra Pradesh in the rally where 40-year-old leader Jagan Reddy will begin a fast in front of the YSR Congress office at 10:30 am. 9:00 am: Jagan Mohan Reddy to go on an indefinite fast from 10 am YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy is set to go on an indefinite fast at around 10-10:30 am as tensions are rising over splitting Andhra Pradesh. Jaga said he would strongly protest against the "unjust" decision and appealed to other parties and leaders to support him and take part in his protest against the Centre's decision. "I request all parties to join me, I request Chandrababu Naidu as well (to join me)," he said. TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu would also begin fast-unto-death in Delhi from October 7. Protests and shutdown rocked Seemandhra and the region is currently reeling under a 72-hour bandh. Reports of violence came in from several districts where Congress offices, railway stations, and government offices were destroyed. Employees’ organisations, blocked highways and enforced closure of shops, ATMs, banks and other commercial establishments and educational institutions. According to reports, power supply in at least six of the 13 districts in Seemandhra was hit as all but one unit of the Vijaywada Thermal Power Station were closed, with employees participating in protests. Andhra PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayan’s camp office and personal property were stoned by the protesters in Vijaynagaram. According to a report in Times of India, Samaikhyandhra protestors squatted on national highways to disrupt the link between North and South India. Meanwhile, five more central ministers from the region announced their resignations on Friday to protest against the cabinet’s nod to the separate state of Telangana. Textiles Minister KK Samba Siva Rao and Minister of State for Railways Kotla Surya Prakash Reddy put down their papers on Friday evening. Earlier in the day, Human Resources Development Minister Pallam Raju resigned from the Cabinet. Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi was the first minister to resign on Thursday, hours after the decision on Telangana was taken. Minister of State for Commerce D Purandeswari and MoS for IT and Communications Killi Kruparani have also reportedly submitted their resignations. End of updates on 4 October 6:40 pm: Minister of State for Railways in Centre becomes latest to tender resignation Minister of State for Railways Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy has become the latest MP to resign from a ministerial post over the Telangana issue. 4:10 pm: Who will the Group of Ministers consist of and what will they do? The ministers of Home, Finance, Lawand Water Resources will be part of the 10-member GoM set upto go into the issues arising out of the bifurcation of AndhraPradesh, like determination of boundary, sharing of assets andriver water, among others. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the GoM will makeits recommendations within six weeks with the Telangana Bill likely to be introduced in Parliament in the winter session. According to the terms of reference for the Group of Ministers, the Human Resource Development, Urban Development,Road Transport and Highways, Power, and Personnel Ministers,along with the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission,will be the other members of the high-powered body. The GoM will determine the boundaries of the new state of Telangana and the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh with reference to electoral constituencies, judicial and statutory bodies and other administrative units. 3:20 pm: Meeting between CM and AP legislators ends The long meeting between the Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and legislators of his party has ended and according to reports, apart from the law minister and a few others, no body else may be quitting for now. NDTV reported that none of the other ministers plan to put in their papers just yet and plan to raise the issue in the state assembly. So as it stands, the next assembly session can be a chaotic one given that legislators are divided over the creation of the new state. 2.35 pm: Congress MP threatens to take UPA to court Alongside resignations from ministers Chiranjeevi and M Pallam Raju, the UPA is now faced with the prospect of one of their own dragging the government to court. A Congress parliamentarian from Andhra Pradesh, L Rajagopal, has reportedly threatened to take the UPA to court over the decision to divide Andhra Pradesh to form Telangana, India's 29th state. L Rajagopal told PTI the decision is "unconstitutional" and "undemocratic" and violates the principles of federalism. He said he would move the Supreme Court. 2.20 pm: Pilgrims to Tirupati caught amid protests As anti-Telangana protests gained ground, pilgrims to the Tirupati temple found buses refusing to ply uphill. Hundreds of pilgrims have reportedly begun the last leg of the journey by foot. 2.00 pm: Pallam Raju says decision was taken in view of polls Union Minister for Human Resources Development M Pallam Raju, speaking to Rediff.com, said there is widespread anger in his constituency, where there has been a 66-day shutdown of most government services to protest the proposal of separate statehood for Telangana. "I wish this had not been treated as a political decision which was taken keeping the forthcoming elections in mind," said the MP who resigned as a Cabinet minister on Friday. 12:45 pm: Andhra Pradesh law minister quits cabinet and party Andhra Pradesh Law Minister Erasu Pratap Reddy today resigned from the post and also from primary membership of Congress in protest against the Union Cabinet's decision to bifurcate the state. He tendered his resignation to Governor E S L Narasimhan this afternoon. Erasu was one of the dozen ministers who had submitted resignations to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy in the first week of August following the July 30 decision of the Congress' Central Working Committee to divide AP. 12:30 pm: Shinde promises to console upset ministers Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Friday said the central government will have to take the Seemandhra ministers into confidence and "console" them over bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. "They are our colleagues, we will see they remain in the cabinet. They have expressed their concern and we will have to take them into confidence and we will try our level best," said Shinde. He made the remark a day after the cabinet gave its approval for creation of Telangana, following which Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi resigned and Human Resource Development Minister M. Pallam Raju said he too has decided to resign. Speaking to media persons here he added: "After all, when there is bifurcation of state such feelings are there. No one can avoid this, we will have to console them." 12: 00 pm: Jagan Reddy to address the press shortly Jaganmohan Reddy, who was planning a rally in Hyderabad to protest against the formation of the new state is addressing the press to express his views on the Cabinet's decision. The YSR Congress chief questioned the rationale of the state being split into two when other movements for separate states had been ignored by the Centre. Like Pallam Raju, he said that the decision to split the state had been taken in haste but he's not resigning from any post and instead will be going on a hunger strike to protest against the decision. Reddy had earlier gone on a hunger strike in jail which had yielded little but this time he could have a bigger impact given he's no longer in jail. "I will be sitting on on indefinite protest fast from tomorrow in Hyderabad," Reddy said and also called for a bandh. Reddy has also said that all MPs from the Seemandhra region should resign in protest. The YSR Congress chief said that there should be some sanity in the manner in which new states were formed and said all parties should come together to oppose the formation of the new state. YSR Congress MPs will be going to Delhi to meet the president, he said. 11:45 pm: Raju says he's resigning for sure Union Minister for Human Resources Development Pallam Raju today said that he would be tendering his resignation over the Union Cabinet's decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. Raju said that he had offered to resign last evening but had been advised by the Prime Minister to not act in haste. "I have thought over it last night and I have decided that I should resign from the Union council of ministers. I have sought an appointment and will be tendering my resignation," he said. "It is a very sad day for Andhra Pradesh," Raju said. The Union HRD minister said that after the Congress Working Committee decision an agitation had been on in Andhra Pradesh for teh last two months. He pointed out that a committee headed by defence minister AK Antony had been formed to look into the grievances of the people. "We hoped the committee would do the course correction that would be required for the government to proceed with the bifurcation," he said. However, without waiting for the report of the committee the Cabinet had rushed into the decision of forming the cabinet note for the formation of the new state, he said. "I think this has been done in great haste without understanding the concerns of the region or take into consideration the sentiments of the people. It will be detimental to the long term interests of the state," he said. He said that the issue of maintaining peace in all three regions of the state should have been addressed before the Cabinet approved the decision. "I am deeply offended and aggrieved that we have not been able to articulate the concerns of the people well enough for the Cabinet," the Andhra Pradesh MP said. 9.35 am: Seemandhra Ministers meet to decide next course of action Even as Seemandhra shuts down in protest over the formation of Telangana, key ministers from the region will meet today to decide what to do next. Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has also called for a meeting of all Congress leaders to share ideas on how the resolution can be defeated in the assembly. That meeting will take place at 11.30am. 7.04 am: More ministers resign, 72-hour bandh calls in Seemandhra Jaganmohan Reddy's YSR Congress party has called for a 72-hour shutdown in Seemandhra to protest the cabinet decision. He said the decision to divide Andhra Pradesh had pained him. In addition to Reddy's bandh call, Seemandhra Lawyer Joint Action Committee (JAC) called a 48-hour-bandh in the 13 districts of Seemandhra and the Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association has called for 48-hour blockade of national highways. Congress's Rajahmundry MP Undavalli Arun Kumar also resigned as lawmaker and quit the party following the Union Cabinet's decision to give a nod to the creation of Telangana. Addressing a press conference at his office, Kumar said he was deeply hurt by the Congress's decision to divide Andhra Pradesh. "In protest against the party's decision, I have sent my resignation to Congress. Earlier I had quit as MP," he said. "I have actively participated in the Andhra Agitation and went to jail and spend some more time in Rajahmundry jail. Now, also I will actively participate in the on-going agitation for the united Andhra pardesh and extended my support as a common man," Kumar added. Meanwhile there have been a number of bandh calls in Seemandhra. -- end of updates for 03 October -- 10.49 pm: Pallam Raju says he is pained by Cabinet decision on Telangana HRD minister MM Pallam Raju who has resigned from his post said that he his pained by the government's decision to create a separate Telangana state. "I am very pained on the decision of bifurcating Andhra Pradesh. I met PM and offered to resign, but he asked me to hold on," Pallam Raju said. 9.53 pm: Chiranjeevi quits post of minister over Telangana decision Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi tonight resigned from his post in protest against the Union Cabinet's approval of the formation of separate Telangana, his aide said. The actor-turned-politician has faxed his resignation to the Prime Minister's Office, his personal assistant said. Chiranjeevi, who hails from Coastal Andhra, felt anguished over the way the protests in Seemandhra regions, going on for over two months, against the division of Andhra Pradesh were handled. 9.49 pm: Andhra Pradesh deputy CM says it's victory for Telangana people Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha Thursday said the union cabinet's decision to carve out separate Telangana state is a victory of Telangana people. Rajanarasimha also described it as the victory of Congress and the victory of truth. He thanked Congress president Sonia Gandhi for keeping her promise to Telangana people. "She recognized the sacrifices made by people of Telangana... she has done justice. The people of Telangana will always be grateful to her," he told reporters Thursday night. The deputy chief minister said though passing of a resolution by the state assembly is not mandatory for formation of new state, he was confident that the resolution would be passed. He assured people of Seemandhra living in Hyderabad that they can continue to live here like people of Telangana without any apprehensions. He said issues like sharing of water, electricity and education and can be solved amicably through talks. 9.36 pm: Sources say Chiranjeevi has offered to resign Union minister Chiranjeevi has offered to resign, reported PTI. He is the third minister, after MM Pallam Raju and KS Rao, who has offered to quit after the Cabinet cleared the formation today. 9.11 pm: YSR Cong calls for 72-hour shutdown in Seemandhra YSR Congress party has called for 72-hour shutdown in Seemandhra to protest the decision taken by the union cabinet to carve out separate Telangana state. Addressing a press conference Thursday evening, YSR Congress party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy said the decision to divide Andhra Pradesh had pained him. He vowed to take all steps to stall the bifurcation. Blaming Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for the decision, he demanded that all MPs from Seemandhra to quit to pull down the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) at the centre. 9.06 pm: KS Rao said NDA was more sympathetic over Telangana CNN-IBN reported that KS Rao during the Cabinet meet said that he was not consulted and that the NDA was more sympathetic towards the issue. 8.21 pm: Pallam Raju and KS Rao to quit over Telangana formation HRD Minister Pallam Raju and Minister of Textile KS Rao may quit over the Union Cabinet clearing the formation of a separate Telangana state, sources have told CNN-IBN. Both the ministers had opposed the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. 7.54 pm: Javadekar says BJP to support Telangana Bill BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said that the BJP will support the bill for formation of Telangana though the action on this issue by the UPA government has been delayed. "BJP is already committed, but the bill has to be brought to the Parliament. Our committment to the bill is full and final," Javadekar said. 7:42pm: Shinde says Hyderabad to remain capital for Telangana, Seemandhra for a decade After the Cabinet approved the formation of the new state of Telangana, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that the new state would share its capital with Seemandhra region for a decade. "Hyderabad is to be the joint capital for 10 years," Shinde told reporters. Shinde said that the Cabinet has also approved the creation of a Group of Ministers has to look into finances that may be required by new state. 7:40 pm: Cabinet clears formation of Telangana The Cabinet has cleared the formation of the new state of Telangana. The Cabinet has also approved the creation of a Group of Ministers to approve the decision to form the new state. 5:50 pm: GoM may be formed to work out details CNN-IBN reports that after the Cabinet clears the formation of the new state, a Group of Ministers could then take over and work out modalities like what should be the capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. 5:45 pm: Protests continue outside PM's residence Protesters seeking a united Andhra Pradesh are continuing to protest outside the Prime Minister's residence and according to CNN-IBN in one case protesters even managed to break through a barricade. However, the Cabinet meet has not been affected and the decision on the formation of the new state is reportedly imminent. 5:30 pm: Cabinet meet begins, Telangana imminent? According to CNN-IBN, the Law Ministry has given the go ahead to the Home Ministry and despite Sushilkumar Shinde's claims the Cabinet will clear the formation of the new state today. 5:25 pm: Protests outside the PM's residence Supporters of a united Andhra Pradesh are protesting outside the Prime Minister's residence over reports that the Cabinet is set to approve the formation of the new state of Telangana today. 5:00 pm: Cabinet note on Telangana ready, Shinde says it isn't After speculation that the Cabinet in a late night note had decided that Hyderabad would be the capital of Telangana, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde today denied that the Cabinet would be discussing anything related to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. “It is all speculation,” Shinde said, according to a report on CNN-IBN. The Home Minister said that the formation of the new state was not on the agenda of the Cabinet and said there was no truth to the report that Hyderabad would be the capital of the new state. CNN-IBN had reported that a cabinet note on the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh has proposed that Hyderabad be named the capital of Telangana and further proposed that Hyderabad would serve as a joint capital for both Telangana and Seemandhra for a period of ten years. The report had also said that the cabinet is due to take the matter up for discussion this evening. The Congress Working Committee on 30 July had passed a resolution requesting the Centre ‘to take steps in accordance with the Constitution to form a separate state of Telangana within a definite timeframe’. It’s been two months since the government announced the decision to grant statehood to Telangana, despite Seemandhra and Rayalaseema regions remaining virtually shut-down for nearly two months.