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Traders brace for Telangana challenge

Soon after the much-awaited report of the Justice Srikrishna Committee was released, the students' joint action committee on Telangana called for a 48-hour bandh. They protested against the report by pelting stones and burning two buses.

twitter-logo E Kumar Sharma        Last Updated: July 27, 2011  | 22:33 IST

A call for a 48-hour-bandh starting Friday by the students' joint action committee on Telangana and pelting of stones and burning of two buses in the Osmania University campus in Hyderabad have been the immediate reactions to the much awaited report of the Justice Srikrishna Committee on the situation in Andhra Pradesh in the context of the demand for a separate state of Telangana. The report was released today and is available on the Union home ministry website: http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/CCSAP-REPORT-060111.pdf

Drive around the city of Hyderabad and the mood is palpable. The most visible symbols being the nylon mesh covered glass facades of major retail stores, commercial establishments and information technology companies.

"There is surely concern and the industry is in a wait and watch mode but they do seem more confident given the conversations that it has had with the leaders of various political parties assuring the industry that nothing would be done to harm or impact the industry,'' says Shakti Sagar, the chairman of the Andhra Pradesh Chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). However, having said that, he does say that despite the assurances, every company has a plan 'B' and are ready with their business continuity plans because, as he says,  "you have to remember that most companies are today operating in a global scenario and it is important to ensure that there is no impact on business and there is business continuity."

While companies are not willing to discuss their individual plans, the way they are responding is by either alerting their centres outside the state or making temporary arrangements to ensure employees continue to function - either from home or from some third party location.

Very broadly, as has been indicated in most newspapers today, the Justice Srikrishna committee has come up with six options - (i) Maintaining status quo, (ii) Bifurcation of the State into Seemandhra and Telangana with Hyderabad as a Union Territory and the two States developing their own capitals in due course, (iii) Bifurcation of State into Rayala-Telangana and coastal Andhra regions with Hyderabad being an integral part of Rayala-Telangana, (iv) Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Seemandhra and Telangana with enlarged Hyderabad Metropolis as a separate Union Territory, (v) Bifurcation of the State into Telangana and Seemandhra as per existing boundaries with Hyderabad as the capital of Telangana and Seemandhra to have a new capital (vi) Keeping the State united by simultaneously providing certain definite Constitutional/Statutory measures for socio-economic development and political empowerment of Telangana region and creation of a statutorily empowered Telangana Regional Council.

While, the corporates prefer to wait to watch how the various parties react and what their leaders say, the apparent concerns are: What will be there in all of this for Hyderabad and what will be its future? The other being what assurances, the Telangana Rastriya Samithi or TRS will give on the future of Telangana and the level to which it will be make the region immune to naxal politics or communal politics. Finally, signals on forward looking leadership from TRS and other political parties.

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