A day after the Congress leadership announced it will hold an all-party meeting on the separate Telangana issue on December 28, AICC president Sonia Gandhi “counselled” her party MPs from the region against indulging in aggressive posturing.
The MPs, including Madhu Yashki, Ponnam Prabhakar, G. Sukhender Reddy, S. Rajaiah, Manda Jagannatham and G. Vivekanand, were given an appointment to meet the Congress president on Thursday morning.
Ms. Gandhi, accompanied by her political secretary Ahmed Patel and AP affairs in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad, is understood to have cautioned the MPs against embarrassing the party with their actions. The Congress high command was seized of their concerns and would take a final decision at an appropriate time, they were told.
The announcement of the all-party meet, according to sources, was a strategic move to checkmate some MPs making overtures to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti if no announcement was forthcoming before December 9, the day on which then Home Minister P. Chidambaram announced three years ago that the process for formation of separate Telangana had begun. Though what transpired in the meeting was yet to be known, the MPs appeared to be restrained as was evident from their silence after emerging from the meeting.
Meanwhile, Mr. Prabhakar wanted other parties to clarify their stand on the statehood issue without waiting for the Congress as the ruling party would anyway take a decision after the meeting.
The MPs also met Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde who informed them that the all-party meeting would be held at his office. The Home Ministry would finalise the agenda and send invitations to parties well in advance to enable them to hold internal discussions before coming to New Delhi.
Uncertainty continued on how many representatives would be allowed from each political party, but the Congress MPs urged the Home Minister to permit only one from each party.
Keywords: Telangana issue