TRS chief demands separate statehood after massive poll win

     Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao has said the party's victory in by-elections in the Telangana region nothing less than a referendum for the creation of a separate state, and asked the Centre to take immediate steps in this regard. "I humbly appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi that please deliver Telangana state without any further loss of time. The time has come; the time has ripened. This verdict is nothing less than a referendum," he told reporters here on Friday. He also urged the Justice B N Srikrishna Committee, constituted by the Central Government to go into the Telangana statehood issue and submit its report quickly. "In the meantime, the Congress should prepare for delivering Telangana after December 31. They should come forward. They should ask the Justice Srikrishna (Commission) to expedite, expedite proceeding and submit the report immediately in the view of bye election results," he said. The TRS won eleven seats while its new political ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won one seat. The polls to the 12 seats were held in the wake of resignations of provincial lawmakers over the issue. Pro-Telangana activists have been agitating since December 23 after the Central Government deferred its promise to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. The agitations have resulted in series of violent incidents in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, as well as some other parts of the state.

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