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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  The creation of Telangana in 10 landmarks

The creation of Telangana in 10 landmarks

India's 29th state Telangana turns two on Thursday. Here's a rundown of the events that let to its formation

Supporters of the Telangana movement celebrate at Osmania Universaity in Hyderabad after the central government’s decision to initiate the process of creating a separate Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh. Photo: APPremium
Supporters of the Telangana movement celebrate at Osmania Universaity in Hyderabad after the central government’s decision to initiate the process of creating a separate Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh. Photo: AP

India’s 29th state Telangana will be celebrating the second year of its formation on Thursday. Here are 10 events that led to the creation of India’s newest state.

1. The early agitations: The seeds of the struggle for Telangana state were sown—as back as early 1955—when a section of intellectuals and the political leadership of erstwhile of Hyderabad state grew wary of attempts to merge it with Andhra state. They were worried that a larger Telugu state, would lead to an Andhra hegemony in jobs, education and resource allocation. People in Andhra state, part of Madras state prior to October 1953, had relatively better access to education and fared well on social indicators, unlike in Telangana which remained backward under a repressive feudal system.

2. States Reorganisation Commission: The States Reorganisation Commission (SRC), constituted by the Union government in 1953 and submitted its report in 1955, recommended retaining Hyderabad as a separate state till the 1961 general elections. The SRC left it to the Hyderabad state legislature to decide on the merger with other Telugu speaking districts.

3. Gentlemen's Agreement: The SRC recommendation to retain Hyderabad till 1961 was set aside on 1 November, 1956. The nine districts of Hyderabad state referred to as Telangana merged with the state of Andhra to form Andhra Pradesh—a unified Telugu state based on a Gentlemen’s Agreement that provided safeguards with the purpose of preventing discrimination against Telangana.

4. 1969 agitation: Within a decade and half—a violent ‘separate Telangana’ agitation erupted in 1969, primarily led by students and government employees citing violations of the Gentleman’s Agreement and discrimination in education and employment. Around 369 people, mostly students, died in that agitation. The Telangana agitation took on a political colour with Marri Chenna Reddy—who broke away from then ruling Congress party—forming the Telangana Praja Samithi (TPS) to spearhead the movement. A six-point formula evolved by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi focusing on accelerated development of backward regions and preferential treatment to local candidates in employment cooled down the agitation for the next two and half decades—though discontent simmered.

5. KCR’s entry: The Telangana statehood demand returned to the limelight in 1997 with the BJP declaring support to the cause. But the demand got new vigour in 2001, when K. Chandrashekar Rao, popularly known as KCR, resigned from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and floated the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). The creation of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttaranchal (now Uttarakhand) during the same period also strengthened the demand for Telangana. Three years later, the TRS fought elections in alliance with the Congress and won five Lok Sabha and 26 Assembly seats.

6 UPA-1: With TRS becoming part of the first United Progressive Alliance coalition, the demand for a separate state was included in its common minimum programme with riders on consultations and consensus. Eventually, disenchanted with the Union government, KCR pulled out from the coalition. TRS contested the 2009 elections in alliance with the TDP and the Left parties. The party took a drubbing with KCR himself managing to win only narrowly from the Mahaboobnagar parliamentary constituency. Many political commentators soon started to write off Telangana statehood as a pipe dream.

7. Dramatic turn: Events started to turn dramatically in favour of Telangana statehood after Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy (YSR) died in a helicopter crash in September 2009. YSR’s death left a leadership vacuum in the state Congress party. KCR soon launched a fast on 29 November demanding that the Congress introduce a Telangana bill in Parliament. Student organisations, employee unions, and various social organisations joined the movement. Telangana was paralysed with shutdowns. In an all party meeting called by the state government on the night of 7 December to discuss KCR’s fast, all major opposition parties extended their support for a separate state.The state Congress and its ally Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen left it to the Congress high command to take a final decision.

On 9 December 2009, the Union government announced that it would start the process of forming a separate Telangana state, pending the introduction and passage of a separation resolution in the Andhra Pradesh assembly. To step up the pressure on the Union government—a Telangana joint action Committee (TJAC) comprising political and non-political groups was formed with Osmania University professor M Kodandaram Reddy as its convenor.

8. Committees and delays: The Centre announced the formation of the Committee for Consultations on the Situation in Andhra Pradesh (CCSAP), popularly called the Srikrishna Committee after its head, former chief justice B.N. Srikrishna. The committee submitted its report on 30 December 2010 to the home ministry. The Srikrishna Committee report did not make a definitive suggestion on the status of Telangana, but made suggestions to the government on maintaining law and order in the state.

9. Biting the bullet: With protests mounting, Congress government finally decided to approve the creation of Telangana state on 30 July.

10. Telangana state is born: On 18 February, the Telangana bill was passed by the Lok Sabha amidst protests and disruptions, including the use of pepper spray by Seemandhra MP, Lagadapati Rajagopal. The Rajya Sabha passed the bill on 20 February. The bill received the assent of the President and was published in the gazette on 1 March 2014. Telangana became 29th state of the India on 2 June with Hyderabad as its capital.

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Updated: 02 Jun 2016, 12:12 PM IST
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