Telangana Praja Samithi (TPS)

Telangana Praja Samithi (TPS) or Telangana Peoples convention was an Indian Political Party, which fought for separate statehood for Telangana. TPS was founded in 1969. The founder president was Ananthula Madan Mohan. TPS orgarnized a series of strikes and demonstrations throughout the Telangana region to push their demands for a separate state.

The founding president of the party was Ananthula Madan Mohan, but later taken over by Marri Chenna Reddy who spearheaded the telangana agitation and eventually winning over 10 Lok Sabha seats in the 1971 elections. Later the members merged into the Congress party.

The party was revived again in 1983 with Vande Mataram Ramchander Rao, as the President, Pratap Kishore was the General Secretary. After the death of Vandemataram Ram Chander Rao, Gandhian Bhoopati Krishnamurthi (Telangana Gandhi) was elected president and led the party for nearly two decades up to his death in January 2015. After Bhoopati Krishnamoorthi Neera Kishore, was elected as President of Telangana Praja Samithi.

In June 1969 General Strike in Hyderabad were organized by the TPS led to widespread violence as TPS supporters clashed with supporters of a unified Andhra State and with police. TPS organized a series of strikes and demonstrations throughout the Telangana region to push their demand for a separate state. Women also played an important role in the first phase Telangana Movement. Their protests were intensified and Government activities came to stand-still. Women and students participated in the protests.

All age group women actively joined struggle. Eswari Bai, Sangam Laxmi Bai, C.K. Kanaka Rathnamma, Shantabai, Mayor Kumud Nayak, SulochanaNarotham Reddy, Sharmishta Reddy, Amrutha Reddy, Venkateswara Yadav, Arutla Kamaladevi and others participated in the movement. On 1 st May 1969, Women’s conference was conducted at Hanamkonda. Marri Chenna Reddy was unanimously elected as President of Telangana Praja Samithi in the place of Madhan Mohan on 23rd May 1969.

The students strongly protested entry of politicians into the Telangana Movement resulted split in the Movement. The parallel Telangana Praja Samithi was formed.

Mrs. Indira Gandhi had called snap parliamentary elections in March 1971. In these parliamentary elections, Telangana Praja Samithi won 10 out the 14 Parliament seats in Telangana. However, Indira Gandhi’s Congress (R) Party scored a landslide victory on a platform of progressive policies such as poverty elimination (Garibi Hatao). She was reluctant to accept the Telangana statehood demand at that juncture. Sri M Chenna Reddy then merged TPS in Congress (R) party, after formulating a Six-Point Formula to safeguard Telangana’s interests. The statehood movement continued until 1973, but subsided later.

Telangana Praja Samithi, which was formed during the agitation and was led by Dr. Chenna Reddy, a congressman, ran on the sole plank of a separate Telangana state. The party won ten of the fourteen seats in Telangana, obtaining 48% of the votes. The Congress party (Mrs. Gandhi’s party) trailed well behind with 37% of the votes. As a result of the initiative taken by the central Congress leaders, the Telangana PrajaSamiti merged with the Congress party in September 1971, under an agreement that the mulki rules would continue in the Telangana region. P.V. Narasimha Rao of Telangana became the Chief Minister in place of Brahmannanda Reddy, who resigned.

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