Centre calls party meet on Telangana

T-Cong MPs arm twist UPA seeking numbers in RS

The UPA government’s want of numbers in the Rajya Sabha to win the vote on FDI, gave an opportunity to the Congress MPs from Telangana to force the government to call an all-party meeting on their separate state demand after Parliament session ends on December 28.

The MPs, who have been abstaining from the Parliament session, threatened to boycott FDI voting if the government does not call an all-party meeting on the statehood issue.

This prompted Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to make an announcement about the meeting on Wednesday.

The proposed meeting, however, raises more questions than answers. None of the major parties –including the Congress -- have a clear policy on Telangana, which has divided its supporters and legislators according to their regional affiliations.

While those from Telangana have rooted for a separate state, leaders belonging to Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra have opposed the bifurcation.

Barring the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the BJP and CPI, all the parties have allowed strident voices both for and against the statehood to emerge. 

“The announcement on all-party meet is a farce; the Congress is trying to keep its flock together ahead of the FDI vote. If it is sincere, then it should spell out its stand at the all-party meeting,” TRS leader and senior legislator T Harish Rao said.

The earlier rounds of all-party meetings on Telangana, held in 2010 and 2011, proved futile.

On the first occasion, the Congress and the TDP had two representatives at the meeting, articulating divergent views, while the second round was a dampener with major parties staying away.

The Centre has been delaying a decision on the statehood demand in view of the strong, divergent views across the political spectrum.

According to the Telangana Congress MPs, who held a series of parleys with Shinde and the party in-charge of AP Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Centre would ask each party to send one representative for the December 28 meeting. This will force the parties to take a firm stand on the statehood issue

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