All eyes on Delhi as key AP players up the ante

All eyes on Delhi as key AP players up the ante

* Air of expectancy in Telangana; anxiety among Seemandhra leaders * More ministers leave for New Delhi * Hectic political activity in Capital *...

* Air of expectancy in Telangana; anxiety among Seemandhra leaders * More ministers leave for New Delhi * Hectic political activity in Capital * Rival camps step up their activity

Hyderabad/New Delhi: The countdown for a decision on Telangana has begun and all eyes are on today's Congress Core Group meeting which would be chaired by AICC President Sonia Gandhi and will be attended by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister D Rajanarasimha and PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana will present their arguments before the Core Group. They will also have to answer the questions asked by the Core Group members.

Former Home Minister P Chidambaram who is in the US will not be attending the meeting. While there is an air of expectancy among the leaders in Telangana, anxiety is writ large on the faces of Seemandhra leaders who too feel that the game is over. About half of the State cabinet members and all important leaders from both the regions are in New Delhi and have been holding series of meetings with the Core Group members.

According to Minister Sailajanath, Digvijay made it clear that a final decision on Telangana issue would be taken only after going through the reports submitted by Kiran Kumar Reddy, Rajanarasimha and Botcha and hearing their arguments. It is not yet clear whether the trio will be present together in the meeting or they would be called individually to present their case. Meanwhile, Ministers K Jana Reddy, J Geeta Reddy, D K Aruna, Sunita Lakshma Reddy and Sudershan Reddy also left for New Delhi along with Kiran and Rajanarasimha. Both CM and his deputy sat in the same row in seat numbers 1A and 1 D respectively.

Since morning, Delhi witnessed hectic political activity. Ministers Sailajanath, T G Venkatesh, Kondru Murali, G Venkat Reddy, MPs K Bapiraju, L Rajagopal, KVP Ramachandra Rao etc first met at A P Bhavan and then at the residence of K V P to chalk out their future course of action. On the other hand the Telangana leaders met at the house of Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy and at the house of Gutta Sukhendra Reddy.

The Seemandhra leaders led by KVP met Digvijay Singh to plead against dividing the State. Digvijay told them that he has a clear understanding of the issue and situation in the State and advised them to meet other members of the Core Committee. They are also learnt to have told Digvijay Singh to see that the High Command does not take any hasty decision. They said it would be better if the High Command waits till September. Andhra Students JAC has called for shutdown of Seemandhra region on Friday. The Seemandhra leaders also met Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi and Minister of State for Finance J D Seelam.

Talking to media, Sailajanath expressed the view that if the State was divided it would lead to law and order problem. All sections can develop only when the State was united. He said all Seemandhra leaders were trying to keep the State united in their own manner. On the other hand, TJAC students led by P Ravi who are in Delhi called on the Union Minister for Home, Sushil Kumar Shinde and urged him to see that a Bill was introduced to bifurcate the State. They also gave roses to Minister T G Venkatesh and Sailjanath asking them not to put hurdles in division of the State.

Earlier, PCC president Botcha Satyanaryana met Jana Reddy and Shabbir Ali in Hyderabad and took their views. Government chief whip G Venkataramana Reddy said the Telangana issue was in final stage and hence the Seemandhra leaders should not create hurdles now. Whip Jagga Reddy said that division of State would not help Medak district in any manner. Interestingly, MRPS leader Manda Krishna Madiga also met Shinde and Digvijay in Delhi and said that along with Telangana issue, the Core Group should consider the issue of categorization of SCs.

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