While reiterating that it is ready to support formation of a Telangana State if a Bill is introduced in the budget session of Parliament, the Bharatiya Janata Party has hit out at the Congress for “playing politics” on the contentious issue.

BJP spokesman Prakash Javedkar told journalists that the Congress-led UPA government was misguiding Telangana people in the name of meetings, commissions and committees.

Referring to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s announcement, after an all-party meeting in New Delhi on Friday, that a decision on the Telangana demand would be made within a month, Mr. Javedkar said: “This is the third such all-party meeting. What decision will you take? The then Home Minister, P Chidambaram, had on December 9, 2009 announced that the process of formation of a separate State for Telangana has begun.”

Mr. Javedkar said that during Friday’s meeting, all parties asked the Congress to make clear its view on the issue as the ruling party at the Centre was “doing politics.”

‘Countdown has begun’

The former APCC president and Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh, V. Hanumantha Rao, however, welcomed Mr. Shinde’s statement and said only the Congress government could fulfil the people’s long-pending Telangana demand.

Other prominent Telangana protagonists and Congress leaders G. Vivekanand, Ponnam Prabhakar, Manda Jagannath and Sudhakar Goud said the countdown for formation of a new State had begun.