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Telangana decision put off, CWC to take final call
Aditi Tandon/TNS

New Delhi, July 12
Suspense over the future of Telangana continued on Friday, with the Congress Core Group headed by party president Sonia Gandhi referring the matter to the working committee, the partys highest decision-making body.

With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi in attendance, the Core Group -- comprising Defence Minister AK Antony and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde -- debated the issue of statehood to Telangana for over two hours, but could not arrive at a decision firm enough to be announced, despite reports that a conclusion would be reached on the vexed issue.

Amid a heavy shower, Digvijay Singh, Congress general secretary in charge of Andhra affairs, stopped outside the PMs Race Course Road residence - the venue for the meeting -- to tell reporters that the Congress Working Committee (CWC) would decide on the matter.

"The Congress Party has held the widest consultations with all political parties, leaders and even the Core Group. Now, the Congress shall call the CWC and will take a decision, Digvijay said, giving indications that the Core Group had already reached an understanding on the solution and the CWCs endorsement would be taken.

With the decision being taken to refer the matter to the CWC, talk of the possibility of the Telangana matter being referred to the second State Reorganisation Commission (SRC) resurfaced. Some party sources said Andhra Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today suggested this possibility in his presentation before the Core Group.

In 2001, the Congress Working Committee had passed a resolution asking the BJP-led NDA Government to constitute a second SRC to look into the demand for Telangana state at a time when several other regions were also demanding statehood.

About todays developments, it was reliably learnt that the first to make a presentation before the Core Group was Pradesh Congress Committee president Botsa Satyanarayana, who is not known to be a votary for Telangana.

After Botsas 15-minute presentation, Andhra Deputy CM Damodar Rajanarasimha, who hails from the Telangana region, spoke for 20 minutes in favour of the creation of a separate state.

The last to speak was Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who gave an hour-long detailed presentation, reportedly in favour of a united Andhra Pradesh.

Key region for Cong

  • Talk of the vexed issue being referred to the second State Reorganisation Commission resurfaced after the Core Group meeting and Andhra CM Kiran Kumar Reddy is reported to have suggested this possibility
  • The CWC had passed a resolution in 2001 asking the NDA government to constitute a second State Reorganisation Commission to look into the demand for a separate Telangana state at a time when other regions were also demanding statehood
  • The Telangana region is crucial for the Congress, as it comprises 17 Lok Sabha seats out of the 42 in Andhra Pradesh.

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