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Cong buys time on Telangana
KV Prasad/TNS

New Delhi, January 27
With deadline on announcing its stand on the demand for creation of a separate Telangana state approaching, the Congress today said the decision would take a “little more time.”

On December 28, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had convened a meeting of leaders of various parties in Andhra Pradesh and promised to take a decision within a month on the demand for a separate statehood. The deadline expires on Monday.

“There is no deadline. We need a little more time,” Union Minister and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said here. His comment came on a day when protests continued in Andhra Pradesh and unconfirmed reports swirling in the national capital that Shinde could make a statement on the issue before his official visit to Dhaka starting tomorrow.

Azad said the party has decided to call the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, the state Congress chief and leaders from the three distinct regions of Telangana, Rayalseema and Coastal Andhra for discussion but refused to set a timeline by when it could be held.

Over the past few days, the Congress leadership has been busy holding discussions to find a way out. While declaring that Telangana is being treated as a stand-alone case, the party has made it clear that any decision will not be clubbed with similar demands from other parts.

The more difficult part for leaders is to take decision on the status of Hyderabad. While those demanding a separate state want the city to be its capital, the other regions want the historic city be made a Union Territory and a joint capital.

During the Jaipur Chintan Shivir last week, many participants favoured creation of smaller states for better governance and equitable development of areas citing Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand as cases in the point. 




Telangana leaders cry betrayal
Suresh Dharur/TNS

Hyderabad. January 27
A sense of déjà vu has gripped the political parties in Andhra Pradesh as the Centre missed yet another deadline on announcing a decision on the raging Telangana statehood issue.
Policemen try to stop pro-Telanagana protesters in Hyderabad on Sunday.
Policemen try to stop pro-Telanagana protesters in Hyderabad on Sunday. — PTI 

The central leaders' remarks came as a major disappointment as Shinde had himself set the January 28 deadline for announcing the final decision. The Home Minister had given such an assurance soon after chairing an all-party meeting on Telangana in Delhi on December 28.

While the Telangana leaders dubbed the latest statement as a 'betrayal' of the statehood cause, those opposed to the bifurcation are angry over the Centre's failure to give a categorical assurance that AP would remain united.

The dampener from Delhi came in the midst of protest rallies by the Telangana protagonists in Hyderabad. Tension prevailed in the city during the 36-hour protest programme by the Telangana Joint Action Committee.

The violence broke out at the Osmania University campus, the epicenter of the Telangana agitation, when a group of student activists pelted stones at the police when they were prevented from taking out a rally towards Raj Bhavan. The police fired tear gas shells, causing injuries to some protesters.

The TRS, which has been in the forefront of the statehood movement, warned of intensifying the agitation to mount pressure on the Centre to create the new state. "The Congress has once again back-stabbed the people of Telangana. We urge all the Congress MPs s and MLAs from Telangana to quit the party and join the agitation. Let us topple the government as it has betrayed the people," a senior TRS legislator T Harish Rao said.





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