Home Minister P Chidambaram has said the process for forming the new state will be initiated.
The Centre tonight conceded to the demand for a separate Telangana state for which the process would be initiated and an appropriate resolution would be moved in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, even as the Congress leadership was trying to resolve the crisis arising out of the renewed agitation for a separate state.
The decision was taken at a late night meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah after two rounds of consultations in the Congress Core Committee with Sonia Gandhi and senior Cabinet colleagues.
“After these consultations, I am making this statement. The process of forming the state of Telangana will be initiated. An appropriate resolution will be moved in the state Assembly,” Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters late in the night.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to invite Telengana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) chief K Chandrashekhar Rao for talks on Telengana soon. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to be given additional responsibility to look into the issue on behalf of the Congress and negotiate with K C Rao.
Earlier in the day, 24 Congress MPs from the state met Sonia Gandhi and handed over a memorandum against bifurcation of the state.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah today rushed to Delhi and held meetings with the party’s top brass. According to sources, Rosaiah spoke about political consequences in other parts of the state if the party buckles under the pressure of TRS. Rosaiah told reporters that the prime minister would decide on this matter.
After reports reached Delhi about the deteriorating health condition of the TRS chief, the Congress brass convened a series of meetings even as the issue hit Parliament. After an informal meeting with top Congress leaders, Congress President Sonia Gandhi held a core committee meeting with the PM and others. Mukherjee, however, was not present at the meeting as he had gone to Jharkhand.
The party has also ruled out forming a second State Reorganisation Commission (SRC) as it may open a Pandora’s box leading to renewed agitation in other states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
A section of the party also believes that there is no overwhelming support in favour of Telengana in that region. “Only the TRS is raking up the issue for its political survival,” said a Union minister from Andhra Pradesh.
An announcement to calm down K C Rao may soon be made, Congress leaders claimed. “Please wait. You will find an announcement on the party’s stand,” party spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said.