Cong leaders to discuss Telangana on Friday

The Congress position on separate Telangana will become clear when party senior leaders meet on Friday to discuss the issue.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Raja Narasimha and state Congress president Botsa Satyanarayana are expected to make presentations on possible scenarios they expect in the Rayalseema, Telangana and coastal Andhra regions respectively if a separate state is carved out.

AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh has already submitted his views on a separate Telangana state to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and an announcement is expected early next month. A challenge before the Congress is to ensure that it gets the maximum political benefit in case of an announcement of a separate Telangana is made.

The party is trying to engage the Telangana Joint Action Committee, an amalgam of various groups and political parties favouring a separate state, in a bid to deny possible benefit to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).

The TRS has been pitching for a separate Telangana state with its leaders going on hunger strikes to press their point. Digvijay Singh, who is in charge of Congress affairs in Andhra Pradesh, has held meetings with several leaders from the state.

Congress leaders from the Andhra region are opposed to a separate Telangana and have been pressing for a development council for the region. Various scenarios are doing the rounds include keeping Hyderabad as a joint capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for a period of 10 years in case a separate state is formed.

Another possibility is including two districts of Rayalseema region into Telangana and re-naming the state as Rayal-Telangana.

Singh had on Monday said the timing of a decision would depend on the preparedness of the three state leaders, the chief minister, the deputy chief minister and the state Congress president as they would have to present their case before the party top brass.

"When they get ready and Sonia Gandhi has time, they will appear before the core committee and a decision would be taken soon," he had said.

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