“The Congress party is not against the formation of Telangana” Chacko told reporters here. This announcement assumes significance as the party has been under attack for not taking a clear stand on the issue.
The Congress spokesperson added, “We are not going back on our promise.” It might be recalled that way back in 2009, the then Home Minister P Chidambaram had announced the setting up of Telangana.
The party’s failure to abide by the January 28, 2013 deadline triggered widespread agitation in Hyderabad with several Congress MPs from the region threatening to resign.
While both the All India Congress Committee (AICC) incharge of the state, Ghulam Nabi Azad, and Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde have refrained from making any statement on the issue, Chacko’s statement makes the party’s stand clear.
According to sources, what is taking time is “fulfilling some Constitutional obligations". The state Assembly needs to first pass a resolution in the matter. The status of Andhra Pradesh capital Hyderabad is also a contentious issue, which needs to be sorted out and the other regions — Rayalseema and Seemandhra — would also need to be looked at.
“These issues need to be sorted out. The talks are in final stage; multi-layered discussions are going on,” said a senior Congress leader.
Sources said the party is keen to buy more time as it doesn’t want any trouble before the crucial Budget session of Parliament.