TD lobs T-ball into JAC court

In a deft move, the Opposition Telugu Desam Party has lobbed the T-ball into the court of the Telangana political Joint Action Committee (JAC), putting the onus on the latter to pressure Congress legislators from the region and precipitate a Constitutional crisis in the State.

The Telangana TDP MLAs, who met at NTR Bhavan today, submitted their resignations to politburo member and Nagarkurnool MLA N Janardhan Reddy.

In turn, Reddy has decided to forward the same to JAC convener Prof M Kodandaram, with a request to him to collect the resignations of all the Congress MLAs and ministers from Telangana.

Janardhan Reddy said that they had waited several days for their Congress counterparts to quit as the leaders of that party had asked for time till the terms of reference of the Srikrishna Committee were laid down.

Once it became clear that the terms were unacceptable to the people of Telangana, the TDP had decided to help create a constitutional crisis in the State.

But there was no response from the Congress, he lamented.

“We waited for four hours yesterday for the Congress MLAs at the JAC meeting. But only four of them turned up,’’ Reddy pointed out.

He also blamed the TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao for unilaterally announcing, without discussing the matter in the JAC, that his party MLAs would put in their papers.

Thus, the TDP leaders seem to be blaming both the Congress and the TRS for not abiding by the decisions of the JAC. “We always said TDP would go by any decision of the JAC,’’ Janardhan Reddy stressed.

By submitting their resignations to the JAC convener, the TDP has sought to gain the moral high ground as contrasted with the Congress legislators’ clinging to their seats.

The TDP’s ploy also stems from the consideration that if the JAC succeeded in collecting the resignations of Congress legislators there would be no byelections in the State, the fear of which had had the Opposition party paralysed in the first place.

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Andhra Speaker accepts resignation of 12 MLAs

Hyderabad, February 15: Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker NK Kumar Reddy has accepted the resignation of 12 pro-Telangana MLAs. Out of the 12 MLAs 10 are from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, one each from the BJP and the TDP.

Fifteen MLAs from the Telangana region had submitted their resignations to the Speaker on Sunday.

They have been protesting what they call unfavourable terms and conditions of the Srikrishna Committee set up to look into the demand for Telangana.

More MLAs are expected to resign on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government has ordered an inquiry into the clash that broke out on the Osmania University campus between pro-Telangana students and police.

The clash left at least 20 students, media personnel and security personnel injured.

Prohibitory orders have been in force on the Osmania University campus as the University is the hotbed of the ongoing Telangana agitation in the state.

Nightmare at Osmania varsity

Police used brute force, fired rubber bullets and lobbed tear gas shells, injuring at least 20 students and five journalists on the Osmania University campus here on Sunday.

The campus, which had been peaceful for the last few weeks, turned into a war zone within minutes with students and the police fighting pitched battles till late in the night.

Trouble broke out at 6.30 pm when students took out a rally from E1 Hostel to B Hostel on the campus in support of Telangana MLAs who had submitted resignations to the Speaker earlier in the day and demanded that police posts on the campus be removed.

The police then canecharged mediapersons telecasting the rally and later turned their ire on the students. The police first tried to stop the students from taking out the rally.

The protestors who remained firm first ran helter-skelter when the police used force. Later they regrouped and began hurling stones at the cops.

The police did not spare even a group of girl students who rushed to the rescue of a few injured students lying on the ground.

A policeman beat a political science student, Naga Mani, with the butt of his rifle, injuring her on the neck and shoulder. The girl fell down writhing in pain. Some students took her to a hospital on a motorcycle.

The police, it appeared, deliberately targeted mediapersons, obviously to drive them away from the campus. When the police brutally manhandled mediapersons even senior officers did not try to prevent the cops. Many of the mediapersons were seen lying on the ground writhing in pain as top police officials present on the scene turned a blind eye.

There were also allegations that the police did not even allow ambulances to the campus. The police also destroyed cameras of the mediapersons and cut cables of the OB vans which all showed that they were intent on preventing the media from broadcasting their brutality.

As the police continued firing rubber bullets, a group of students ran into nearby Manikeshwar Nagar but the police beat them up. A few day scholars came to the spot and set the police outpost afire.

Later, the police sealed the campus and deployed more force there. Power supply to Manikeswarnagar was also snapped.

Violence breaks out on Osmania University campus again

Hyderabad,  Violence again broke out on Osmania University campus Monday, the second time since Sunday evening, with pro-Telangana students taking to the streets.

Protesting the police firing and the baton charge on them Sunday night, the students took out a rally and threw stones at policemen and paramilitary personnel deployed on the campus.

The police hit back with batons once more. Eyewitnesses said some policemen were injured in stone pelting while a few students and media persons sustained injuries when police used force.

The fresh violence broke out a few hours after large-scale violence on the campus Sunday evening. More than 30 students and six media persons were injured when police fired rubber bullets and used batons and teargas shells.

The trouble had started when students tried to take out a procession hailing 15 Telangana legislators who resigned to protest terms of reference of Srikrishna panel looking into the statehood issue.

State government and human rights commission have ordered separate probes into the incidents. Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy told reporters Monday that action would be taken against policemen if they were found guilty of using excessive force.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed at Moazzam Jahi market, a busy commercial area, when students tried to march towards the assembly building to protest the violence at Osmania University. Police used force to disperse the students.

Police also locked the gates of Nizam College in Basheerbagh area to prevent students from marching towards the assembly, where unprecedented security arrangements have been made for the budget session which began Monday with the address of Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan.

Congress legislators from Telangana try to disrupt governor’s speech

Hyderabad,  Shouting “Jai Telangana”, Congress party legislators from the region that Monday tried to disrupt the address of Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan to the joint session of state legislature on the first day of the budget session.

The Congress is in power in Andhra Pradesh, but the demand for a separate Telangana state has created a rift among party legislators.

The legislators who supported the demand for a separate Telangana state continued to shout slogans throughout the governor’s 45-minute speech and later walked out of the assembly.

The legislators of main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema region — opposing bifurcation of the state — countered them with slogans of “samakhiya Andhra” or unified Andhra.

The TDP legislators from Telangana stayed away from the session to protest terms of reference of Srikrishna panel looking into the statehood demand. They have rejected the terms of reference for being unfavourable to the demand for separate Telangana.

A couple of hours before the session began, speaker N. Kirankumar Reddy accepted the resignations of 12 out of 15 Telangana legislators who had submitted their resignations Sunday.

Resignations of all 10 legislators of TRS and one each of TDP and BJP have been accepted while no decision has been taken on resignations of two legislators of Congress and one of PRP.

Earlier, TDP legislators staged a sit-in at the main entrance of the assembly building to protest the police firing on Osmania University students Sunday night while Congress legislators staged a protest at Gunpark opposite the assembly building.

They also boycotted the customary breakfast hosted by the speaker.

The all-party Joint Action Committee (JAC) has asked all 119 legislators from the region and other elected representatives to quit by Monday evening.

New IIM-A placement system receives good response

Gandhinagar,  The new placement system for the final year post-graduate programme students of the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), introduced from the current academic year, received an enthusiastic response as it began here Sunday.

The new system sees the placement process being conducted over continuous weekends called “cohorts” with each cohort hosting firms offering similar roles, opportunities, offers, profiles, salaries, locations etc. Several cohorts comprise a cluster.

The process continues for about six to eight weeks, and replaces the system followed earlier where recruiting companies came together at the campus to interview eligible candidates and complete the selection process at a stretch over continuous three to five days.

The first cluster had companies across four cohorts – international investment banks, global strategy consulting, global niche consulting and private equity/venture capital.

Campus recruitment has reported an improved response with the return of several investment banks like Bank of America-Merril Lynch who had skipped the process last year.

Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Co. made eight offers, including pre-placement offers.

“While as per institute policy we do not release the aggregate number of offers, almost all recruiters are making more offers than last year,” an IIM-A spokesman said, adding the students found the new process more relaxed and were able to make better choices.

Placement committee chairman Saral Mukherjee said that they were a little apprehensive as this was the first time that the new system has been introduced.

“We are now sure we have moved in the right direction. The recruiters have expressed satisfaction with the new process and students too have interviewed with the firms of their choice,” he added.

Amid Telangana protests, governor stresses on peace

Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan Monday called for conducting struggles based on the Gandhian philosophy of non-violence even as Congress party legislator from Telangana tried to disrupt his address to the joint session of the state legislature.

The legislators who supported the demand for a separate Telangana state continued to shout “Jai Telangana” slogans throughout the governor’s 45-minute speech and later walked out of the assembly.

The Congress is in power in Andhra Pradesh, but the demand for a separate Telangana state has created a rift among party legislators.

Legislators of main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema region — opposing bifurcation of the state — countered them with slogans of “samakhiya Andhra” or unified Andhra.

The TDP legislators from Telangana stayed away from the session to protest the terms of reference of the Srikrishna panel looking into the statehood demand. They have rejected the terms of reference which they claim are unfavourable to the demand for separate Telangana.

In his address to the joint session of the state legislature on the first day of the budget session, Governor Narasimhan made a fervent appeal to all legislators to help maintain peace and tranquility in the state and work unitedly for its development.

“For the last four months, the state is going through difficult times, affecting public order, pace of development and image of the state,” he said in an obvious reference to the movements for and against a separate Telangana state.

Narasimhan said the government had the responsibility to ensure peace and offer protection to people’s lives and property.

“We have recently celebrated 60 years of our Republic when we fondly recalled the great sacrifices of men and women for freedom led by Mahatma Gandhi, who unflinchingly stood by the principle of non-violence. We must forever conduct struggles on this high principle of dignity and discipline,” he said.

Quoting first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he said development would not be possible without peace.

“We are meeting here at a very difficult juncture in the history of our state. Several crucial events have taken place in last 12 months,” he said at the beginning of his speech, referring to the economic slowdown, death of former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in a helicopter crash, unprecedented floods in Krishna River, drought and agitation over the Telangana issue.

A couple of hours before the session began, speaker N. Kirankumar Reddy accepted the resignations of 12 out of 15 Telangana legislators who had submitted their resignations Sunday.

Resignations of all 10 legislators of TRS and one each of TDP and BJP have been accepted while no decision has been taken on resignations of two legislators of Congress and one of PRP.

Earlier, TDP legislators staged a sit-in at the main entrance of the assembly building to protest the police firing on Osmania University students Sunday night while Congress legislators staged a protest at Gunpark opposite the assembly building.

They also boycotted the customary breakfast hosted by the speaker.

The all-party Joint Action Committee (JAC) has asked all 119 legislators from the region and other elected representatives to quit by Monday evening.

Baba Ramdev to field candidates for next Lok Sabha polls

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev Sunday said he would field candidates in the next Lok Sabha elections if the central government does not take sincere steps to curb corruption, which he termed as the main reason behind the spread of Maoism.

“If the incumbent union government does not change its policy to initiate sincere steps to curb corruption, I would field candidates in the next parliamentary elections and I believe that the common people would elect the appropriate person,” Ramdev said at a press conference here.

Emphasising that problems like Maoism can never be erased by dialogue or force, the yoga guru said these are derivatives of economic inequality and corruption at the grassroots level.

“Corruption is the key reason behind all the complicacies of the country. Poverty, political chaos and financial inconsistencies are the by-products of corruption,” said Ramdev, who reached the Tripura capital Saturday on a two-day trip.

Calling for mass participation in his ‘Bharat Swabhimaan’ campaign, Ramdev said that the initiative has been started to make a complete change in the country’s governance.

He asked people to launch a ‘crusade’ against corruption and political nepotism while also starting the practice of Yoga to ‘restore morality’.

“I believe death sentence is the only answer to contain corruption and other social evils. Most of the politicians themselves indulge in social crimes for vote-bank politics. It is high time for common people to raise their voices against the corruption,” Ramdev said.

Claiming that “Rs.150,000 crore has been siphoned-off by the politicians and bureaucrats, and deposited in their personal accounts outside the country so far,” he said “if the entire money was pulled back, India’s GDP would be at least four times higher than the existing GDP”.

“Agar sarkar hai imandar to kyon hain bhrastachar? (If the government is honest, why is there corruption in the society?),” he asked.