The Centre and the Congress have sought to buy more time to resolve the contentious Telangana statehood issue, even as the one-month deadline set by the Home Minister Sushil kumar Shinde for a decision comes to a close.
Shinde and Congress General Secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad today clearly indicated that both the Government and the party would take “some more time” to come to a decision on the issue and that consultations would continue.
Shinde had held an all-party meeting on the issue in New Delhi on December 28, after which he had struck an optimistic note, stating that a decision on the statehood issue would be taken within a month.
His statement a month ago was immediately debunked by Telangana Rashtra Samithi chief K. Chandrasekara Rao as an useless and elaborate charade.
Shinde, in a brief statement today, said it would take a “little more time” to reach a final decision.
Echoing a similar stand, Azad said further consultations were needed with senior leaders of Andhra Pradesh of all the three regions, for which they would again have to be called to New Delhi. “We are also going to invite the Chief Minister and PCC Chief for further consultations,” he said in New Delhi today.
He however did not set any deadline for the fresh round of consultations.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi had also been holding talks with her senior colleagues, while the Core Committee of the party met yesterday.
Meanwhile, pro-Telangana activists staged day-long protests to mount pressure on the Government to concede their demand for statehood for Telangana. Several pro-Telangana leaders and activists were earlier taken into preventive custody.
There was some tension on the Osmania campus when pro-Telangana students pelted stones at the police, who responded with lobbing tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.
Keywords: telangana issue,