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Hectic discussions ahead of Telangana meet; Bandh hits normal life

January 5, 2010

Hectic consultations held on Monday involving Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his cabinet colleagues on the eve of the all-party conference on Telangana issue in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Dr Singh discussed issue with senior colleagues Pranab Mukherjee (Finance), P Chidambaram (Home), A K Antony (Defence) and Veerappa Moily (Law) on the strategy for Tuesday’s meeting convened by the Home Minister.

The meeting, expected to devise a mechanism and roadmap to resolve the vexed Telangana issue, will be attended by Congress, TDP, TRS, Praja Rajyam, CPI(M), CPI, BJP and MIM – the eight registered political parties in Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah, who arrived in New Delhi to participate in the meeting, met Chidambaram and followed it up with another meeting with the Prime Minister.

“I am not here to give any solution. I will attend the meeting as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh,” said Rosaiah, who is said to be not very keen on bifurcation.

Rao, the political face of the pro-Telangana agitation, demanded that the Centre should follow up on its promise to create separate Telangana.

“The Government of India has announced its policy on Telangana. It should follow it up with Constitutional process.

A resolution should be moved in Parliament,” he told reporters after meeting CPI general secretary A B Bardhan.

Chidambaram also met with Governor E S L Narashiman, Assembly Speaker Kiran Kumar Reddy and APCC chief D Srinivas.

The Governor is understood to have briefed Chidambaram on the current situation in the state against the backdrop of the campaign for separate Telangana which is opposed in the other regions of the state.

Rosaiah said he would represent the state in the meeting and would elicit views of all political parties after which some decision on the issue can be taken.

Meanwhile, Congress MPs from Telangana and coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions met separately and discussed the strategy to be adopted on Tuesday.

Senior party MP K S Rao, who is one of the Congress representatives for Tuesday’s meeting, met his colleagues from the region and elicited their views.

MPs from the region, including Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, were also present at the meeting. Besides Rao, Congress will be represented by Huzurnagar MLA N Uttam Kumar Reddy, who hails from Telangana.

Congress and Telugu Desam are virtually divided on regional lines with leaders from Telangana pitching for a separate state and those from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions wanting a united Andhra Pradesh.

While Rao has made it clear that he will make a strong case for a separate state, PRP chief Chiranjeevi says he will pitch for a united Andhra Pradesh in the meeting.

Congress and TDP are already under pressure from their leaders in Telangana and non-Telangana regions to stick to the stand as per the 9th December and 23rd December statements respectively.

While the first statement favoured a separate Telangana state, the second one called for wide-ranging consultations on the issue.

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