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Suspense mounts over Telangana report
Panel submits report l Contents to be made public on January 6
Tribune News Service

New Delhi/Hyderabad, December 30
Though the Justice BN Srikrishna Committee handed over its report on the Telangana statehood issue to the Centre a day in advance than its December 31 deadline, the suspense over its contents, however, would continue for another week.

Minutes after receiving the two-volume report from the five-member Srikrishna panel, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram told mediapersons that the report would be made public on January 6. He said all political parties would be consulted before taking an “appropriate” decision.

Chidambaram said a meeting of eight recognised political parties of Andhra Pradesh had been convened on January 6 -- prior to announcing the report.

Constituted on February 3, the Srikrishna committee was asked to suggest a way forward on two issues: having a separate state of Telangana and keeping Andhra Pradesh united. The panel visited Andhra Pradesh 28 times during the past 11 months and received over 1.25 lakh representations from different stakeholders.

The report, as per the committee, contains “several suggestions with pros and cons” on the demand for carving Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh by bringing 10 districts under the new state.

Committee member-secretary Vinod Duggal, a former Union Home Secretary, said: “We have given the way forward. We have said what is to be done… there are many options.”

For his part, Chidambaram asked all parties to exercise restraint. "That is the only way in a democracy and those who respect democracy must also respect the processes of democracy,” he said.

The report would first be studied by experts in the Ministry of Home Affairs and subsequently be shared with other ministries or departments.

Chidambaram said: “The government has great faith in the wisdom, maturity and tolerance of the people of Andhra Pradesh.” The Home Minister said all political parties and groups had assured the Centre of maintaining peace, harmony and law and order. "We welcome and believe in these assurances…. Let me assure the people of Andhra Pradesh that the deployment of security forces is a purely precautionary measure. They will remain in the force headquarters or police stations as a reserve,” he said.

Also, the Home Minister said the media should communicate the contents of the report to viewers and readers in a “fair, impartial and balanced” way and avoid speculative stories.

Meanwhile, Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao said in Hyderabad that the party was not “bothered” about the panel’s recommendations and would continue the agitation till the Centre initiated the process for creation of a separate state.

“We know that Srikrishna Committee is not a deciding authority. It can only suggest various options in which we are not interested. We want the UPA government to honour its own commitment on the formation of Telangana state,” Rao, who has been in the forefront of the statehood movement, said.

Issuing an ultimatum to the Centre, the fiery TRS leader warned of en masse resignations by elected representatives of the region if the government failed to move the Telangana Bill in the Budget session of Parliament.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy appealed to people to maintain calm and said all the stakeholders must abide by the Centre’s decision on the issue.

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