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Final decision on Telangana within a month: Centre

By Vicky Nanjappa
Last updated on: December 28, 2012 12:48 IST
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Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Friday announced that a final decision on creating a separate state of Telangana will be taken within a month.

His statement came in the wake of an all-party meeting on the issue in Delhi.

The meeting, which was attended by all the major political parties from Andhra Pradesh, could not come to a unanimous conclusion. The home ministry has now sought a month's time to deliberate and discuss the issue before making its stance clear.

Shinde also requested pro-Telangana activists to remain calm and await the government's final decision.

While representatives of most parties present at the meeting sought the creation of a separate state, some of them also cautioned the government against acting in a hasty manner.

There was some opposition from within the ruling Congress from Andhra Pradesh. Congress leader Venkata Reddy expressed his opposition to the creation of Telangana and stated that he had always favoured a united Andhra Pradesh.

Eight parties from Andhra Pradesh had been asked to take part in the meet. Most of them, however, seemed to have put the onus on the Centre to take a decision in this regard.

The Telegu Desam Party reiterated its earlier position and said that it was up to the Centre to clarify the issue. TDP chief Chandra Babu Naidu, once perceived as a staunch opponent of the Telengana movement, appears to have changed his stance.

The Congress had sent two of its representatives to take part in the meeting -- pro-Telangana leader K Suresh Reddy and anti-Telangana leader Venkata Reddy.

While Venkata Reddy has been fighting for a united Andhra Pradesh, activists have pointed out that Suresh Reddy hails from Telangana but has never actively participated in a movement to seek the creation of a separate state.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, the Communist Party of India and the Telangala Rashtra Samiti have all sought a separate Telangana.

Though the CPI is usually opposed to the formation of smaller states, the party has decided to make an exception in this case after witnessing "the plight of the people and the ground reality".

The YSR Congress Party is a relatively new outfit and cannot afford to take a strong stance on this issue. It will abide by any decision taken by the Centre.

The TRS didn't seem to be too optimistic about the meeting.

"The Centra has held many such meetings but nothing new comes from them. We will be present at the meeting and press for a separate state, but the outcome remains to be seen," said party chief K Chandrasekara Rao.

The MIM, which has also been urged to attend the meeting, was earlier seeking a new state called Rayal-Telangana with both Rayalseema and Telangana regions.

But the party has changed its stance and has decided to seek a separate Telangana.

The Joint Action Committee for Telangana has decided to stay away from the meeting although JAC chief Kodanda Ram was invited to be part of the meet.

According to Kodanda Ram, the non-political outfit decided to skip the meeting of political parties and await its outcome.

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Vicky Nanjappa