Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday defended the government on the Telangana issue, saying the situation had changed "dramatically" after UPA announced it would form the state and insisted the Centre was waiting for a consensus to emerge among all the stakeholder parties.
Referring to the demand from members that the Home Minister announce when the government is going to form Telangana, Chidambaram said, "No Home Minister can make such statements.... Circumstances are well-known. Virtually every party is split on this issue."
He said two days before his much-talked about December 9, 2009, statement in Parliament, an all-party meeting had been held on Telangana. The Business Advisory Committee of Lok Sabha had also discussed the issue on the same day.
"I made the statement on December 9, 2009, (on Telangana formation) in Parliament. But the situation changed dramatically within 24 hours," Chidambaram said, adding that the parties which had a stake in the matter, including his own Congress party, changed their stand.
He further maintained that in the wake of these dramatic developments, he made a "revised statement" on December 23, 2009.
Chidambaram said the Sri Krishna Committee report recommendations will be considered in deciding the road map.
He insisted that only when the eight parties, which have a major stake in formation of Telangana, take a view some progress can be made.
Telugu Desam Party member Namo Nageshwar Rao and AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi disrupted Chidambaram's speech a couple of times and insisted that the government look into their demands.
Rao asked Chidambaram to clarify the government stand on Telangana and by when it will form a view.
Chidambaram tried to pacify these members and assured them that the Congress will take a view shortly.
Taking dig at BJP members who also tried to intervene, Chidambaram said their party hardly had a stake in Telangana but the eight parties which are major stakeholders and it is important that they reach a consensus.
"I can't blame them if they take more time. Their stake is greater," he said.
Chidambaram also pointed out that senior BJP leader L K Advani had written a letter on April 1, 2004, stating that Telangana should not be formed.
"But you have a right to change your view," he told BJP members.