Centre makes fresh promise on Telangana

Centre makes fresh promise on Telangana

The Centre on Friday announced that a decision on the demand for carving out a new state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh would be taken in a month.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s announcement at an all-party meeting, however, failed to convince the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), one of the main representatives of people demanding a separate state, and the Bharatiya Janata Party. TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao was disappointed as the Centre did not announce the creation of Telangana state at the meeting.

The meeting also witnessed a vertically divided Congress. One of its two representatives, K R Suresh Reddy, supported the creation of Telangana, “to fulfill the long-pending demands of the people of the region.” Its other representative, G V Reddy, stood for a unified state.
“A decision will be taken within a month. We have heard the members of various parties. We have noted their views and will brief the government about it," Shinde told reporters after the hour-long meeting.

Shinde did not elaborate whether the government would announce Telangana state after a month.

However, the TRS, which has been at the forefront of the statehood movement, dubbed the meeting “pointless” and called for a bandh in the region for Saturday. It accused the Congress of trying to “hoodwink” the people.

“It was a hopeless meeting and I do not believe in Shinde’s statement that a decision will be taken within a month. If the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) leadership is sincere, it should introduce a bill in Parliament on the creation of the new state,” Chandrasekhara Rao said after the meeting.

Two representatives each from eight political parties were invited for the talks, apart from Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy.

The Congress, BJP, TRS, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), CPI, CPM, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) and the YSR Congress attended the meeting.

This was the third all-party meeting. The earlier talks held in 2010 and 2011 by the then
Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram, failed to arrive at a consensus.  The CPI, TRS, BJP and the TDP were for the creation of a new state. The CPM was against the demand. The YSR Congress was ambiguous in its stand and left it to the UPA government to decide.

On a query if the decision would be acceptable to the two other regions of Andhra Pradesh, Shinde said: “Some will be satisfied and some will not be. However, the meeting was cordial and all expressed their views. We have noted (them) down and some of the representatives expressed that the decision should be given as early as possible.”

Last meeting

Shinde was not willing to disclose the various opinions of the political parties and government’s stand on them. “This is not the forum to discuss such issues,” he remarked. “But this will be the last all-party meeting on Telangana.”

Shinde appealed to the youth of the state to maintain peace as the government would come up with a solution to the vexed statehood issue soon.

Even the Srikrishna Commission report would be considered when taking a final view on the statehood. Coming out of the meeting, Chandrasekhara Rao and BJP nominee G Kishen Reddy appeared disappointed. Both said that nothing emerged from the meeting.

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