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Cong MPs go on fast over Telangana

Hyderabad: Congress MPs from the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh Monday began a fast demanding withdrawal of police cases registered against all students and said they were not satisfied with the lifting of only 600 “minor cases”.

Eleven Congress MPs and 20 legislators started fasting at Gunpark in front of the state Assembly, rejecting the appeal made by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy last night, asking the Parliamentarians not to undertake the proposed fast.

“This is not a protest against our own government. The students are not hardcore criminals. One year has passed since we are making this demand. This is a self-infliction to bring moral pressure on our government,” Congress Rajya Sabha member K Keshavrao said.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the withdrawal of about 600 minor cases against the students, Keshavrao demanded that all cases be withdrawn.

He denied that the MPs are indulging in “political posturing” by undertaking a fast.

Keshavrao also demanded the withdrawal of the central paramilitary forces deployed in Telangana.

When asked if their fast has the blessings of Sonia Gandhi, another Congress MP Sarve Satyanarayana said, “We have the blessings of Sonia Gandhi for every good thing.”

On a query about their threat of resignations, Keshavrao said they will tender resignation to Sonia Gandhi for pursuing the demands for introduction of a bill in Parliament for the formation of separate Telangana.

Meanwhile, Telangana JAC convenor M Kondandaram visited the MPs to express solidarity.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had last year announced that police cases against the students would be withdrawn in due course of time.

Political leaders from Telangana and other separate statehood supporters demand that the government should withdraw the cases as announced by the Home Minister.

During the just-concluded session of the Assembly, the state government had announced withdrawal of only minor cases against the students.

The MPs later shifted from Gunpark to new MLA quarters, after police asked them to vacate the place. Earlier, state ministers K Jana Reddy, B Saraiah and several others senior Congress leaders called on the protesting MPs to express their solidarity.

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