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Centre dithers on Telangana
Situation in AP has altered: Chidambaram
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 23
In a move that appears to put the creation of new Telangana state perpetually in cold storage, the Centre today said it wanted to consider “all views” on the demand for the separate state, while appealing to all political parties and students to “maintain peace and harmony” in Andhra Pradesh.

Acknowledging that “a large number of political parties were divided on the issue”, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram today said the government would involve all concerned in the discussions.

“Centre wants to take all views before coming to a decision,” he said, stressing that the state government must now be allowed to focus on governance. “We appeal to all political parties and students to withdraw their agitations and maintain peace and harmony,” he added.

Chidambaram said his earlier announcement was based on the consensus among all political parties in Andhra Pradesh favouring the creation of Telangana. “However, the situation has altered now,” he said.

Congress MPs from coastal Andhra and Rayalseema have welcomed the Home Minister’s statement, saying that it would clear “misunderstanding” among the people of the region on the issue. On the other hand, party MPs from Telangana expressed hope that the Centre would not go back on its decision to carve out a separate state, saying that the statement issued by Chidambaram on holding further discussions was made only to bring the situation in state under control.

A statement by the government to defuse the situation was expected, especially with both groups, pro-Telengana and United Andhra, stepping up pressure on the Central leadership to come out in their favour.

Meanwhile, the Congress too dumped the issue on “collective wisdom of all political parties”. Party spokesman Manish Tewari said Telangana was an old issue and it was for the collective political leadership of Andhra Pradesh to resolve the situation that has arisen due to regional divisions over its proposed statehood.

Today’s meeting at Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence was attended by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister AK Antony, Chidambaram, Law Minister Veerappa Moily and political secretary to the Congress president Ahmed Patel. The Congress core group had met on Monday also to discuss the issue.



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