No flip-flop on Telangana: PC

No flip-flop on Telangana: PC

Ministers from Telangana region talk to the media after they withdrew their resignations in  Hyderabad on Thursday. PTI

He said the UPA Government in its previous common minimum programme had said a separate Telangana state would be carved out from Andhra Pradesh “at an appropriate time” after due consultations and consensus.

On December 9, it was announced that an appropriate resolution would be moved in the state Assembly. “I would like to highlight key words in the statement, they are “process”, “appropriate resolution” and “moved”. “In the background of the minutes of the all party meeting, I would like to ask what was wrong with that statement,” he queried.

And on December 23, after MPs and legislators from the state appeared divided over the issue, the government stressed the need to hold consultations with all political parties on the issue following protests in the state for and against the separate state.

First step

“We simply responded to the wishes of the people of Andhra Pradesh. I hope you don’t call the January 5 meeting a flip-flop,” Chidambaram quipped. “The January 5 meeting is the first step in consultations. We have called the recognised parties in the state to devise a mechanism and lay a roadmap on the issue,” he said.  Chidambaram said tourists would not be allowed to get another visa within 60 days of their visit to India despite protests by some countries about the rule being too stringent.

Visa regulation

Asked whether the External Affairs Ministry and his ministry were of the same view on the visa regulation, the minister said “we are on the same page on visa regulations”.
On December 26, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor had questioned the visa rules as being too anti-tourists, inviting ire of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna.
Chidambaram, addressing his monthly press conference here, however, said the rules can be relaxed in special cases.

“If the itinerary shows that the visit includes other neighbouring countries then the 60-day rule can be relaxed,” he  said adding that there are only a minuscule number of tourists who use India as a base to visit other South Asian countries.

Chidambaram said the exemption would be granted after a thorough check whether the itinerary is indeed framed in this manner.

On November 4, the home ministry had issued a directive that foreign nationals having a long-term multiple-entry Indian tourist visa must have a mandatory two-month gap between two visits.

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