The government rejected the contention on Friday that it has developed any second thoughts on the issue of Telangana, saying that the process with regard to its creation is underway and won't be affected by assembly elections in five states.
On September 2, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had said that a note to initiate the process of carving out Telangana would be presented before the Union cabinet within 20 days but it did not come up in the cabinet meeting on Friday.
Asked whether it was an indication of the government developing second thoughts on the issue of separate statehood, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said the decision on Telangana stands.
"On the question of Telangana, there have been sensitivities. It's a process that has been under consideration for a fairly long period of time and after very detailed deliberations, after perusing the report of a commission appointed by the Government of India, a certain decision has been taken. Those decisions obviously continue to hold," he said.
"With regards to fleshing them out in terms of implementation, if I correctly recall, the home minister had made it clear that is the process that is under way," the minister said. He also replied in negative when asked as to whether the announcement of assembly elections in five states and thereby model code of conduction of Election Commission coming into force could further delay the decision on Telangana.
"If my understanding is correct, the model code of conduct applies qua the state, which goes to polls but possibly not qua those which do not go to polls.... I don't think that is going to be really a stopple on the government continuing with the process, which the Home Minister had alluded to," Tewari said.
The home ministry has prepared the note for creation ofTelangana state and there were indications that it will be presented before the Union cabinet very soon after getting the political clearance. Shinde had said on Thursday he had not had the time to go through the draft note on the matter prepared by his ministry, which is to be presented before the cabinet.
After scrutiny by Shinde, the draft will be sent to the law ministry for vetting. The recommendations of the AK Antony committee are also likely to be considered by the cabinet. However, the high-level committee hearing concerns of all stakeholders in the wake of the Congress Working Committee decision on a separate Telangana has not yet completed its deliberations as the defence minister is indisposed.
Shinde is also expected to place the draft before Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for "political clearance".
The cabinet, after giving its approval to the creation of a separate Telangana state, is expected to set up a Group of Ministers to go threadbare into the issues arising out of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. That is likely to be followed by a resolution being sent to the Andhra assembly regarding the formation of the new state. After formation, Telangana will be the 29th state of India.
The CWC, which met on July 30, passed a resolution requesting the Centre "to take steps in accordance with the Constitution to form a separate state of Telangana... within a definite time frame".