The deadlock over Telangana continued on Wednesday as Congress leaders returned from New Delhi without an assurance from the central leadership while protests rocked the region on the second day of a 48-hour shutdown.
Despite the resignation of 13 MPs and 100 legislators from the region, the central government said it was not thinking of imposing President’s Rule in Andhra Pradesh.
“There is no move to impose President’s Rule,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in New Delhi.
He said the central government had also not taken any final decision on whether or not to give statehood to Telangana, saying the “consultation process is still in progress”.
Telangana leaders, who held four rounds of talks with the central leadership since Tuesday, demanded that the process for formation of a separate state be initiated with a fixed time frame and made it clear that any delay would not be good for the party.
Claiming that their talks have not failed, state minister K. Jana Reddy said in New Delhi that they were optimistic the central government would initiate the process immediately by taking note of their views.
Soon after his return to Hyderabad, Congress MP from Karimnagar Ponnam Prabhakar lashed out at his own party describing it as accused number one in Telangana and blamed it for the present crisis.
Life remained paralysed across Telangana on the second day of the 48-hour shutdown called by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC).
Public transport remained crippled in Hyderabad and nine other districts of the region while shops, business establishments, hotels, petrol bunks as well as educational institutions were shut for a second straight day.
Coal production in Singareni Collieries was affected for the second day as a majority of nearly 100,000 employees in the mines, spread over four Telangana districts, refused to work.
The shutdown badly affected the work in government offices as a majority of about 300,000 employees in the region stayed away from work.
In courts, lawyers struck work. Even medical services in government-run hospitals were hit as doctors attended only emergency services.
However, buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corp returned to the roads in the evening as the authorities resumed services between Hyderabad and other cities.
Telangana activists attacked the office of CPI-M in Bhongir town in Naglonda district demanding resignation of its sole legislator in support of a separate state.
In Hyderabad, police arrested JAC convenor M. Kodandaram and dozens of leaders of TRS, BJP, CPI-ML New Democracy, unions of government employees and student bodies.
Protestors were arrested when they tried to lay siege to the residence of Union Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy demanding his resignation.
Police said the leaders of various groups were arrested for violating prohibitory orders.
Osmania University again turned into a battle zone as students fought pitched battles with police, who fired rubber bullets, tear gas and sound bombs.
One student was injured when police fired rubber bullets. Another student was injured when a tear gas shell hit him.
A television reporter was injured in stone pelting by students.