Faced with fresh agitation on the issue of Telangana and continued uncertainties over the food security bill, the Congress top brass including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi deliberated on the way ahead.
Top sources in the party said that the meeting of the Congress core group discussed both the issues at length. The meeting took place close on the heels of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde holding discussions with Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Samajwadi Party general secretary Ramgopal Yadav over the food bill issue.
Government sources said that Shinde and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath could again have talks with Swaraj and the Samajwadi Party leader. Shinde had on Thursday held discussion with Janata Dal-United chief
The deliberations took place a day after the Union cabinet put on hold its plans to bring an ordinance on food security in the face of opposition within and outside and decided to make another attempt to evolve a consensus to get it through in a special session of Parliament.
The government has decided to forge a consensus with Opposition parties over the issue. The sources said a view in the Congress is that there is no need to handle the food security bill issue like the Indo-US nuclear deal and government should reach out to the opposition to get its support.
On Telangana issue, the core group decided to hold discussions with all stakeholders after the assembly session in Andhra Pradesh concludes on June 21.
The meet reviewed the situation in Hyderabad as pro-Telangana parties organised the 'Chalo Assembly' protest. Students of Osmania University tried to march to the assembly but they were stopped by security personnel.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Telangana Joint Action Committee alleged that the Andhra Pradesh government has "unleashed repressive measures to put down the Telangana agitation".