Protests continue against Andhra Pradesh's possible division

Hyderabad, July 14 (IANS) Protests continued in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh Sunday against any possible decision by the Congress in favour of granting separate statehood to Telangana.

With the Congress Working Committee (CWC) likely to take a decision on the contentious issue by month-end, those opposing the state's bifurcation continue to organize meetings and hold rallies.

A meeting was held in Nellore to demand the central government keep the state united. Leaders of both the ruling Congress and main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) attended the meeting and declared that they are ready to make any sacrifice for a united state.

Congress legislator Anam Vivekananda Reddy said they would not allow the state to be divided. He exuded confidence that CWC would not take a decision to carve out Telangana state.

Another legislator Sridhar Krishna Reddy said he was ready to make any sacrifice including resignation to keep the state united.

Samaikhya Andhra employees' association leaders said they would hold a meeting in Hyderabad to oppose the state's division.

In Visakhapatnam, lawyers staged a protest, demanding the central government not to divide the state.

Meanwhile, state minister S. Sailajanath said public meeting scheduled to be held at Anantapur on July 16 to oppose state's division was postponed in view of the developments in Delhi.

The Congress core committee, which met Friday, discussed the Telangana issue but left the final decision to CWC. Party leaders indicated that CWC will meet by month-end to take a decision.

In another development, Samaikhya Andhra students' Joint Action Committee announced that its leaders would launch an indefinite hunger strike in Hyderabad from July 20 to oppose any move to bifurcate the state.

JAC leader Kishore said they would also organize a public meeting in the state capital next month.

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