Telangana : Uneasy Congress may push for resolution

| October 4, 2011 | 0 Comments
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The status of the Telanganademand for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh remains hazy although Congress has reopened the statehood debate and seems keen to push for a resolution of the vexed political logjam.

Congress’s discomfort over Telangana is evident as party delegations and Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhara Rao met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday and asked him to announce a roadmap for fulfilling a Central commitment offered on December 9, 2009, which was later withdrawn.

Rao said the PM did not give any assurance on the statehood demand and expressed dissatisfaction over the meeting. Congress andTRS both charged Andhra CM N Kiran Reddy of misleading people and being apathetic to the Telangana region. Rao said the PM sought an assurance that the agitation would be called off but said he told Singh it was not in his hands as the stir was led by the people.

Sources said Congress leadership is wrestling with the vexed issue that has again brought Telangana to a halt for last 20 days and paralyzed the state for the last two years. While the renewed agitation – laced with threats that it could spiral out of control if a resolution is not expedited – forced Congress to examine its options afresh. But concern over implications of Telangana are holding it back.

The statehood demand is back on table after having been foreclosed as option earlier but there is no change in the variables as opposition from Rayalaseema and Andhra regions is unchanged. The status of Hyderabad, the state capital, is the main roadblock. It’s a tricky issue as Hyderabad is not contiguous to the two antagonistic regions and has defied efforts to resolve conflicting claims. Opposition from Hyderabad-based Muslim outfit and Congress ally MIM is a challenge too.

However, the renewed stir that has seen leaders come to Delhi to argue their case and TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao holding a token fast at Rajghat on October 2 has had an effect. Congress and TRS delegations, which met the PM, urged him to grant statehood at the earliest. The PM’s request that Telangana activists call off the strike failed to cut any ice while Congress asked him to announce the roadmap to fulfill the 2009 promise.

According to the TRS delegation, comprising Rao and B Vinod Kumar, the PM told them the Centre needs time to talk to other stakeholders while conceding that he understood the sentiments of the aggrieved region. TRS told the PM that Centre could grant a package to the Andhra region in lieu of capital Hyderabad.

The PM told the Congress delegation that he would put the issue before the core group and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. The core group discussed the issue on Friday when general secretary in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad submitted his report. The Congress delegation, comprising ministers, MPs and MLAs, told the PM they were under pressure to quit government and legislature and that the region was not in a “mood even to celebrate upcoming festivals”. They also asked Singh to advise the Andhra CM not to show “apathy” towards Telangana, complaining that he unfairly held the state PCS exams during the agitation.

source from timesofindia

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