Centre to start T-talks in January
New Delhi, Dec. 28: The Centre will start the process of consultation on the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in the first week of January.
Highly-placed sources in the Congress indicated this after a delegation of Andhra Pradesh ministers from the Telangana region met the Union finance minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, here on Sunday night. He told the ministers that the consultation process on Telangana would start “soon” and asked them to withdraw their “resignation threats”.
The delegation earlier held a three-hour lunch meeting with the Union urban development minister, Mr S. Jaipal Reddy.
In Hubli, the Union law minister, Mr M. Veerappa Moily, who is the AICC leader in charge of Andhra Pradesh, said, “The Centre will soon begin the process of consultation.” He said a solution to the issue could be found only after wider consultations among all political parties in Andhra Pradesh and at the national level.
The AP ministers from the region came to New Delhi to mount pressure on the Congress leadership and the Centre to “correct” its December 23 statement on the Telangana statehood issue. They also want Union ministers from the region to take open stands on the matter.
The ministers’ trip to the national capital on Sunday comes as the situation in AP grows more complex. On the other hand, Central leaders and the Centre are hoping that the intensity of the agitation will die down slowly due to the sharp divisions on the matter in the state. Chief Minister, Mr K. Rosaiah, has been asked to stay in Hyderabad to control the situation. “Mr Mukherjee has assured us that it (the Centre) will start the process of Telangana,” the state minister for food and civil supplies, Mr J. Krishna Rao, told reporters.
On their arrival in New Delhi on Sunday afternoon, the ministers drove straight to Mr S. Jaipal Reddy’s residence to hold discussions. Mr Reddy is also from the Telangana region. Emerging from the over three-hour meeting, the state higher education minister, Mr Sridhar Babu, who is among those who have resigned, said they sought Mr Reddy’s support in the struggle for separate statehood. “We asked him for his support and told him that his interference is needed in this issue,” he told reporters.
“We told him that the (December 23) statement on Telangana has created confusion among the people. We also told him that the doubts should be clarified and a quick decision on setting a time-frame for the formation of the state should be made,” he said.
Asked whether they asked Mr Reddy also to resign to convey his protest, Mr Babu said: “Since he is a senior leader from the region, we thought he would convey our message properly to the high command.” Mr Babu said the ministers would meet senior party leaders to apprise them of the situation in the region arising out of the last statement by the Union home minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, calling for further negotiations on the formation of a separate state of Telangana.
Some MPs from the region, like Manda Jaganath, were also present during the meeting. “We will try to meet as many core committee leaders during our stay here. Our aim is to plead with the high command to take a quick decision on the time-frame,” Mr Babu said.
Earlier, speaking to reporters, the state information minister, Ms J. Geeta Reddy said: “We will meet core committee leaders and we will tell them to please try and set a deadline for the formation of a separate state. There is a lot of confusion among people, students and others on the latest statement on the Telangana issue,” she said.
The other ministers who met Mr Reddy are Mr Ponnala Laxmaiah, Mr D.K. Aruna, Ms Sunita Laxma Reddy and Mr Ramreddy Venkatreddy.
Thirteen ministers from the Telangana region sent a common resignation letter to Mrs Gandhi on Friday, but only nine ministers are part of this delegation. Earlier, the ministers also met the AICC leader and MP, Mr K. Keshav Rao, at his residence.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, met the PM, Dr Manmohan Singh. Observing that the demand for a separate Telangana state had a direct bearing on West Bengal, he said there were demands for Gorkhaland, Kamtapur and Greater Coochbehar in the hilly areas of West Bengal. “So I wanted to know from the PM what the Centre was doing to check this unrest (in AP),” Mr Bhattacharjee said. He said, “I gathered from the PM that the government is seriously trying to hold consultations with all parties in the state (Andhra) as well as at the national level.” “The government is starting a process of dialogue and consultation with all stakeholders to build a consensus. Until then, they will not take any action,” Mr Bhattacharjee told reporters.
Login to add comments on this post.