This article explains the content of the eight point formula, declaration of which is considered as one of the most important events of 1969 Telangana agitation.
Criticism on the eight point formula
1. Declaration of the eight point formula was a clear indication of the Central government’s decision not to consider the demand for Telangana State. This further intensified the agitation.
2. In her speech, the PM Indira Gandhi several times said, “as suggested by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh” revealed the influence the CM had on the PM.
3. The Telangana representatives during the high-level meeting requested the PM to appoint sub-committee of central ministers who would tour Telangana and study the problems of the region. This suggestion was out rightly rejected by the PM.
4. The invitees to the high-level committee also became controversial. Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy though invited did not attend the meeting. Amongst the invitees, except two invitees all others were either in favour of VA or were neutral. Also the PM did not consider the request to invite K.V.Ranga Reddy and Konda Laxman Bapuji to the meeting.
1. Telangana development committee and plan implementation committee were formed on April 25, 1969. To implement the measure on public employment and constitutional remedies a committee headed by retired SC chief Justice Wanchoo was appointed on April 19. Other members of the committee were – Former AG MC Setalvad; AG Nirein Dey
Points of reference
i. It should carefully study the judgment of the Supreme Court and identify the implications of the judgment.
ii. It should also examine the all-party agreement of January 19, 1969, the Gentlemen’s Agreement and the implementation of promises given to the Telangana people in government jobs and the strategies to fulfill the safeguards with in the constitutional boundaries.
iii. To examine the residential status required in the former Hyderabad state in the present Andhra Pradesh and to check the viability of continuing these rules.
Report of the committee
Wanchoo committee submitted its report in August, 1969 in which it was clearly stated that the constitution cannot be amended in order to implement the mulki rules because of the judgment given by SC in Golaknath case which does not allow any amendment to Article 16.
2. A committee to investigate into the issues of surplus revenues headed by SC Judge Vashista Bhargava was appointed on April 22, 1969. It submitted a report on May 31, 1969 in which it declared that a total of Rs.28.34 crore of surplus revenue of Telangana region was diverted. This diversion of revenue was not accepted by the leaders and people of Telangana according to whom the surplus money diverted was much greater than what was declared by the committee.
Reactions to the declaration of the formula
The eight-point formula instead of controlling the agitation resulted in intensification of the agitation.
i. TPS president Sadalaxmi declared that April 15, will be observed as Telangana protest day.
ii. The advocates held meeting at Andhra Saraswatha Parishat and gave a call to boycott the courts from April 15.
iii. On April 15, 1969, 48 congress MLAs held meeting to discuss the eight-point formula and 41 MLAs issued a written joint statement that the PM should make on announcement opposing bifurcation of AP. Chokka Rao, Baga Reddy, KS Narayana and others did not sign the statement.
iv. Gauthu Lachanna, general secretary of the Swatantra party met the PM and requested her to initiate the formation of Telangana state.
iv. On April 16, 1969, TPS organised Dharnas outside the houses of ministers from Telangana region and the Raj Bhavan. Medak district MLC Laxman Reddy, Patancheru Samiti president Vishnu Vardhan Reddy and advocate Ramchandra Reddy were arrested for participating in the agitation.
v. Jana Sangh leaders Vajpayee demanded the imposition of president’s rule in AP.
vi. KV Ranga Reddy demanded that the PM herself must visit the Telangana region to assess the situation.
April 17, 1969: The Warangal Municipal Corporation held a meeting under the leadership of Uma Reddy in which it passed a resolution demanding the immediate creation of Telangana State.
April 19, 1969: Konda Laxman Bapuji and Ch Rajeshwar Rao (CPI) held talks with the PM on the Telangana issue in Delhi. Rajeshwar Rao requested the PM to personally visit Telangana and assess situation.
The Telangana Regional Congress Committee met under the chairmanship of Chokka Rao and the opinion on separate state was divided. MP GS Melkote strongly supported the demand for a separate State.
April 20, 1969: MCR issued a statement demanding separate Telangana state in reaction to which PV Narsimha Rao and JV Narsing Rao stated that the state should remain united. This is the first statement made by MCR in the 1969 agitation.
The TRC held meeting for three days from April 19 to 21 at Gandhi Bhavan to discuss the further course of action. No decision could be arrived at because the opinion of members was divided. VB Raju asked the members to support the eight-point formula whereas Chokka Rao opposed it S. Jaipal Reddy MLA from Kalwakurthy said that the demand for separate state would lead to the disintegration of the country. Hayagreeva Chari supported the demand for a separate state. Nukala Ram Chandra Reddy opined that the proposal of the PM would not make any body happy in Telangana.
To be continued
-Deepika Reddy, Director, Shikara Academy