KCR holds sit-in at Rajghat, rejects further talks

New Delhi: Bringing his fight for a separate Telangana to the national capital, TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao on Sunday staged a sit-in at Rajghat, rejecting Centre`s decision to hold "further consultations".

Rao said an early decision on Telangana is the "need of the hour" and that "comforting words" were not enough.

His move to highlight the Telangana demand on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti came even as Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, AICC in-charge Andhra Pradesh, pressed for "more consultations at the national level" to resolve the vexed statehood issue.

The TRS supremo is likely to have a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday leading a delegation that may also include some Congress legislators.

As the ongoing agitation for Telangana continued unabated, AP chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is learnt to have briefed Azad on board their flight from Hyderabad to Vijayawada about the impact of the indefinite general strike by pro-Telangana government employees on the state`s economy. Azad appealed to the employees to end their stir.

He also asked the Congress to quickly make up its mind on the statehood issue.

Rao, the political face of the pro-Telangana movement, and his supporters held the sit-in and `observed silence` at Rajghat in Delhi for a few hours to highlight the "grave situation" in Telangana region in AP.

Scores of TRS cadres and statehood supporters descended on Rajghat at around 10am, where earlier top leaders joined a prayer meeting.

Rao, who is camping here since Friday hoping to meet Singh and other senior UPA ministers demanding an early decision on the separate state issue, said there was no need for "further consultations" on it.

"I will meet the Prime Minister to tell him what is happening in Telangana. I will also tell him that people are suffering there and an early decision on Telangana is the need of the hour," he told reporters after holding the sit-in.

"What is the need for further consultations? How long will they take for a decision? Our people are suffering and dying in Telangana and here people want discussions. We need Telangana, not comforting words," he said when asked to comment on the government`s contention that "further consultations" were needed on the issue.