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Congress pact with Telangana Rashtra Samiti

Thursday 21 July 2005, by PRASAD*K.V.

Plea to naxalites to shun violence, resume talks

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ALL SMILES: Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader K. Chandrasekhara Rao with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekara Reddy at a meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. - Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

NEW DELHI: The Congress-Telengana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) standoff in Andhra Pradesh was resolved here on Wednesday with a six-point agreement seeking to address the Samiti’s concerns, including the contentious Pulichintala irrigation project, the implementation of Government Order 610 on employment to the people of Telangana region and the approach on the naxalites issue.

The parties jointly appealed to the naxalites to shun violence and resume talks within the framework of the Constitution while promising to demand a special poverty alleviation package for the naxalite-affected areas.

"All the six issues raised by the Union Labour Minister and TRS chief, K. Chandrasekhara Rao, have been resolved. There is total agreement. As regards Telengana, the Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, is fully apprised of all issues and we shall abide by her decision," the AICC general secretary, Digvijay Singh, announced at a joint press conference at the end of a four-hour meeting between the leaders of the two parties.

Those present at the conference included Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Union Minister A. Narendra, State Congress president K. Kesava Rao and AICC secretary K. Jayakumar.

Both Mr. Rao and Dr. Reddy expressed satisfaction over the outcome of the meeting, held at the direction of the Congress leadership and aimed at mending the souring relations with the TRS. The meeting was the first after the TRS pulled out of the Andhra Pradesh Government early last month over the "attitude" of the Chief Minister towards the Telangana region.

As regards rejoining the Government, Mr. Singh said the issue would be taken up once "congeniality" in the relations between the two parties was restored. On his part, Mr. Rao described the outcome as a good development and said with the understanding reached both would "move towards greater strength," thus indicating abandonment of the impending agitation mode by the TRS.

Giving details, Mr. Singh said on G.O. 610, a Secretaries Committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, would be constituted to implement the recommendations of the Girgilani Commission. The Committee would submit its report to the Chief Minister in the next three months. Promotions for the police force in Hyderabad would start immediately, in accordance with the recommendations of the House Committee.

The Government would study how best the submergence due to Polavaram project could be reduced, bring down the number of oustees and offer attractive relief and rehabilitation package to them.

On the Pulichintala project, which the TRS demanded be shifted from the present site, it was decided that a cost-benefit analysis of the Hanumantha Rao proposal, which suggested construction of five small dams, would be done in the next two months.

"If the proposal is cheaper, the site will be changed without affecting the Krishna Delta ayacut," Mr. Singh said.

The TRS, which had accused the Government of encouraging "encounters" with naxalites, joined the Government in appealing to them to shun violence and resume talks. Both the parties would submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister in the next Parliament session seeking a special poverty alleviation package, purchase of land for distribution to the poor, employment opportunities and irrigation in the naxalite-affected areas.

The parties also decided that technical experts would frame guidelines to ensure equitable distribution of water from the Nagarjuna Sagar ayacut and the Krishna Delta ayacut as per the farmers’ needs, subject to the availability of water.

On diverting water from the Singoor project to Hyderabad city, the agreement is to conduct a fresh techno-economic study in the next six months for getting water to the city and providing water from the Singoor project to the farmers of Medak and Nizamabad district.

A canal would be constructed to carry water from the project to Andole and Medak.

According to central Congress leaders, the party approached the meeting with an "open mind" and drafted the agreement as each of the issues were taken up. It is understood that both Mr. Digvijay Singh and Mr. Jayakumar were working on these issues for the past week and collected inputs from various sources and technical experts.

See online : The Hindu

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