New Delhi: Pro-Telangana activists led by TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday held a sit-in at Rajghat here on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi to highlight the demand for creation of a separate state of Telangana.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in the wake of Rao’s fast at Rajghat said, “The issue of a separate state for Telangana will be settled as soon as possible.”

He said consultations with the elected representatives of all three regions of Andhra Pradesh -- Telangana, coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema -- were completed but there is need for more consultations on the issue at the national level.

Azad, who is in charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, was talking to reporters at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here after his arrival on a daylong visit to the state.

“We need more consultations at the national level. I would not be able tell you the exact date but we will try to settle this issue as soon as possible.”

Scores of TRS cadres and supporters of separate statehood for Telangana descended upon Rajghat at around 10 AM, a few hours after official celebrations to mark Gandhi Jayanti attended by top leaders ended.

Rao, who is camping here since Friday hoping to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior UPA Ministers demanding an early decision on the separate state issue, sat along with his supporters and observed silence for over two hours.

Hyderabad-based Telangana Joint Action Committee chief Prof Kothandaram and some of its members also joined Rao.
TRS leaders said Rao had undertaken the sit-in to highlight their demand for the creation of a Telangana state and to tell the Centre that "time was running out" to take a decision on the issue.

Normal life in all ten districts of Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh has been affected for the past 20 days due to a general strike called by the JAC to protest against the Centre's delay in announcing the formation of a separate Telangana state.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Congress General Secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad had on Saturday said more consultations are needed on the issue and that they would need some time.

Azad also said it was not an ‘easy decision’ to be taken.

Telangana legislators removed from assembly

Police forcibly removed four legislators from the chamber of the deputy speaker at the Andhra Pradesh assembly building late on Saturday, ending a nearly nine-hour-long episode. The personnel from the police commissioner's Task Force broke open the door of the chamber, bodily lifted the legislators and dropped them at their respective houses around midnight.

A large number of Telangana supporters, including lawyers, had gathered outside the assembly building in support of the legislators who had locked themselves in the chamber since 2.30 pm Saturday.

The legislators, led by former minister Nagam Janardhana Reddy, were staging a sit-in to ask the speaker to accept their resignations over the demand for a separate Telangana state.

(Agencies)