Shinde meets Prez on Telangana

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Thursday met President Pranab Mukherjee seeking his views on ways to handle the controversial demand of a separate Telangana state.

Mukherjee played the role of a troubleshooter to handle agitated leaders from Andhra Pradesh during his previous stint as the Union Finance Minister.

Though Shinde denied that he discussed the Telangana issue with the President, informed government sources said the minister wanted to gain from Mukherjee’s experience of handling the issue.

“No decision has been taken on Telangana and we have not taken any decision on an all-party meeting. I do not know anything on Telangana,” Shinde told reporters seeking his reaction. In the past, Shinde had publicly stated that he was told that small states tend to become naxal prone as witnessed when Jharkhand and Chattisgarh were taken out from Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

He hinted that Telangana would become a Maoists infested state, a view the home ministry has already stated on record while giving its opinion to Srikrishna committee that was constituted by the UPA government to recommend on the demand for a separate state.

P Chidambaram during his stint as home minister had stated a final decision can be taken only after an all-party meeting endorses the idea of a separate state. 

Every time a Andhra Pradesh leader visits the capital, rumours start doing the rounds of a possible movement on the issue. AP Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy was in the capital on Wednesday and met Congress leaders including president Sonia Gandhi.

This led to the state Congress president D Srinivas visit here and Panchayati Raj Minister Jana Reddy is also expected to land here on Friday. Sources said that the Congress is trying to check the infighting in the party and to impress certain factions. There is also speculation of a cabinet reshuffle in the state.

The Congress which is facing strong opposition from the YSR-Congress and the TRS, wants to keep the flock together as municipal polls are due early next year. Some sections in the party are also pushing for a separate Telangana to check the Congress decline in the state.

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