Crucial Congress meeting on Telangana to take place on Friday
A crucial meeting of the Congress Core Group on Friday will discuss the Telangana issue with 'both options open' as a decision 'cannot be postponed...
A crucial meeting of the Congress Core Group on Friday will discuss the Telangana issue with "both options open" as a decision "cannot be postponed anymore", senior party leader Digvijay Singh said on Thursday. Singh, who is the general secretary in-charge for Andhra Pradesh, told that the government of India has to consult UPA partners but will have to take Opposition parties also on board as the decision could require amendments to the Constitution. The remarks of Singh are significant as they come against the backdrop of speculation that the party may be veering round to the creation of a separate state. However, Singh himself preferred to be non-commital on the issure. "I cannot say anything on this. This has to be decided by Government of India in consultation with UPA partners. As this will also need amendment to the Constitution, we may have to take Opposition parties also on board," Singh said when asked whether a decision has been taken in favour of creation of a separate Telangana. Asked about reports that he had promised some 'sweet news' for Telangana people, the senior Congress leader said he had promised only a decision assuring there would be "no ambiguity". Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior cabinet ministers and leaders form part of the Core Group. The AICC general secretary, who had submitted a report in this regard to Gandhi, refrained from commenting on the contents and the plus and minus points of creation of Telangana and maintaining a united Andhra Pradesh. Singh steered clear of questions whether a third option was on the cards amid reports of plans of creation of a Rayala-Telangana clubbing two districts from Rayalseema with the Telangana region. "I have asked the Chief Minister, PCC chief and the Deputy CM to prepare a roadmap of political strategy leading to 2014 Assembly and Lok Sabha elections keeping both options open. "They are going to give a presentation before the Core Committee on July 12 and on basis of that Government of India would take a decision, which would then become our responsibility to implement. There are pros and cons of both the issues. Ultimately, Government of India has to take a view," he said. The remarks came a day after Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde that the discussions are and the Congress high command will take a final decision on it but "it will take time". To questions about the party's commitment on the issue, Singh said "if you see the manifesto, we had promised Second State Reorganization Commission." Maintaining that the 2004 manifesto has expired in 2009, Singh significantly remarked " but there have been instances of commitment made from time to time by various leaders and therefore the government of India will have to take a considered view". In the 2004 manifesto, the Congress did not promise anything specifically on Telangana. But subsequently after the elections when it tied up with pro-Telangana TRS to form the government at the Centre, the Common Minimum Programme of the coalition said the UPA government will consider the demand for formation of a Telangana state at an appropriate time after due consultations and consensus.