The Centre, in an attempt to end the imbroglio over Telangana, today convened a meeting here on January 5 of the eight recognised political parties in Andhra Pradesh for a discussion on the issue, a move welcomed by a grouping of all parties spearheading the statehood stir.
Home Minister P Chidambaram today sent an invitation to leaders of the eight parties following his December 23 statement in which he had promised to hold wide-ranging consultations with all political parties and groups in the state on the issue of separate Telangana state.
Congress TDP, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, CPI, CPI(M), Praja Rajyam, BJP and MIM are the recognised parties in Andhra Pradesh.
The Centre’s decision comes after detailed discussions in the government and at the highest political level in the Congress party in the last few days after political parties were divided on regional lines in Andhra Pradesh, demanding immediate steps on formation of the separate state.
The Joint Action Committee of political parties, spearheading the campaign for Telangana, hailed the Centre’s decision but said it would like to know its “scope and purpose”.
TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao had said on Tuesday that he was prepared for talks but would not not accept setting up of any committee on the issue which, he considered, would be a waste of time. Parties and leaders from Telangana cited the statement of Chidambaram on December 9 in which he had promised that the process of forming Telangana would be initiated.
“The decision to hold talks is a step forward. But we would like to know the scope and purpose of the exercise. We can’t give a final assessment until we know that,” JAC convener Kodandaram told reporters in Hyderabad.
Kodandaram said the JAC would discuss the Centre’s invitation and take a decision. “But we will continue with our agitation,” he said.
TRS said it would attend the Delhi meeting. “Since the government of India has invited all the political parties in AP, we are definitely going to attend the meeting on January 5. But we will take a collective decision on our stand in the all party Joint Action Committee,” former TRS MP B Vinod Kumar told reporters after a meeting with party President K Chandrasekhar Rao and other senior party leaders. Senior TDP leaders also met at the residence of party chief N Chandrababu Naidu in Hyderabad and discussed the Centre’s invitation for attending the January 5 meeting in Delhi to firm up the party’s stand to be presented there.
Meanwhile, the Telangana bandh called by JAC passed off peacefully today, paralysing normal life in the region.