Cong panel discusses Lokpal and Telangana

This decision was taken at a meeting of the core group of the Congress party that took place at the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at 7 Race Course Road. “The party is of the view that this issue should be decided first by the joint drafting panel and then finally by the government,” said party sources after the meeting.

The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Union Defence Minister AK Antony and senior party leader Ahmed Patel.

It discussed issues of the Lokpal bill and statehood for the Telangana region.  Party’s top brass discussed the strategy to deal with the political situation that will arise if government and civil society representatives fail to arrive at a consensus on the draft of the Lokpal bill during the last round of meetings on June 20 and 21 and when social activist Anna Hazare resumes his fast on August 16 as declared by the noted Gandhian.

A meeting of the party’s core committee took place two days after the joint drafting committee failed to arrive at a consensus on the draft of the anti-corruption legislation even after the seventh meeting of the panel on June 15. Notably, on the same day more than 50 leaders from the Telangana region, including MPs, state ministers and legislators, met Pranab Mukherjee and Ahmed Patel demanding a separate Telangana state. Telangana leaders have set June 30 as the deadline for the leadership to take a decision.

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