A crucial meeting of eight recognised political parties, called by the Centre to discuss the Telangana issue, ended on Tuesday without arriving at a consensus.

The meeting, however, did not oppose further discussions within a “reasonable frame of time” on the issues that have arisen out of the recent agitations in Andhra Pradesh for and against the creation of a separate State of Telangana.

“It was a good meeting and everybody expressed their views. It is quite clear that the views of the political parties are divided. I summed up their views and will take them to the Prime Minister and formulate a course of action,” Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters after the nearly five-hour meeting.

While the stand of Telangana Rashtra Samiti which has been spearheading the agitation for a separate State was quite obvious, the Bharatiya Janata Party felt there was no need for further discussion and steps should be taken to carve out Telangana.

TDP divided

The Praja Rajyam Party favoured a united Andhra Pradesh, the Congress said it would go with the views of the high command and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) appeared to be a divided house. While the CPI was in favour of a separate Telangana, the CPI(M) opposed any such demand and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) was for imposition of President’s rule in Andhra Pradesh.

“It appears to me that no one is opposed to further consultations with other groups and stakeholders. Should such consultations become necessary, they were keen that it should be concluded within a reasonable time frame,” Mr. Chidambaram said.

The representatives of the eight political parties said in a signed statement that they had “expressed our views at the meeting and they have been noted by the Central government.”

They appealed that “peace, harmony and law and order should be maintained in the State.” The meeting was also attended by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah.

Replying to questions of reporters, Mr. Chidambaram said that political parties must show leadership. “They must work to resolve the problem and that is the only way to settle issues in parliamentary democracy.”

He said a mechanism has to be evolved and the Centre would act on the sense of the meeting and take it forward.

Reasonable time frame

Asked if there was a time frame, he said it would be a “reasonable” one. Asked if there would be a Telangana State, Mr. Chidambaram said: “We are trying to help the political parties of Andhra Pradesh to find the answer to the issues of the State. We are here to help.”

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