After several hours and rounds of discussions, the state government and Telangana JAC (TJAC) inched towards an agreement on the Telangana March scheduled for Sunday.
The TJAC has been given permission to hold the march on Necklace Road and not Tank Bund but the two sides have not yet agreed on the time.
With initial reports stating that the march would be held during 3 pm and 7 pm Sunday, it brought some relief to the police, who have to manage the Ganesh idol immersion on Saturday and the march the very next day.
However, inputs indicating a huge turnout of pro-Telangana activists for the march and the possibility of violence once again made them jittery.
The day began with deputy chief minister Damodara Rajanarasimha and other Telangana ministers including K Jana Reddy and P Sabita Indra Reddy calling on chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy in the morning to press him to allow the TJAC to go ahead with the march.
The meeting, however, took a new twist as the deputy chief minister took potshots at the Congress high command and Kiran Kumar Reddy, insinuating that some leaders in the party were trying to belittle the Telangana movement with their utterances.
He is said to have picked up an argument with the chief minister on the issue of granting permission for the march.
Then followed a series of consultations as Jana Reddy and other ministers met Telangana MPs.
The MPs were told that the government would give its permission for the march if the TJAC would shift its venue to Parade Grounds.
The MPs, however, left it to the ministers and said they would go by any decision.
Meanwhile, DGP V Dinesh Reddy jumped in to say that there was no permission for the march and that the police would take stern action against protestors who indulge in violence.
This did not go down well with the Telangana ministers who felt that the DGP should not have sounded off.
By evening, minister Sabita Indra Reddy convened with TJAC members and put forth the government’s offer.
The meeting went on late into the evening after which Jana Reddy announced that the government had granted permission for the march on Necklace Road between 3 pm and 7 pm.
No sooner had Jana Reddy announced this than the police machinery got down to work.
They began reworking their strategies on tackling any possible violence on Necklace Road.
‘’Now that permission has been granted, pro-Telangana outfits would be interested in staging a show of strength and will turn up in large numbers, which has been conservatively estimated at 40,000-50,000.
We will have to prepare accordingly,’’ a senior officer said.
Now with the compromise, the police machinery are focussed on the immediate challenge of ensuring a peaceful send off to Lord Ganesha on Saturday.
Heavy bandobust will be in place at the Necklace Road.