All eyes are now on the Congress leadership to finalise its two nominees for the all-party meeting on the Telangana issue at New Delhi on December 28, with the day approaching fast and other parties keenly waiting for the names to plan their own strategy.
Telangana Congress leaders, including MPs, are firm that the party should keep its December 9, 2009, promise of initiating the process for carving out separate Telangana and choose the Congress representatives accordingly.
The issue assumes significance as Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is reported to be disinclined to defer the meeting and had communicated the same to Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy more than once.
The Chief Minister, party sources said, again requested the Union Ministry to hold the meeting some time next month to enable the Ministers and MPs to participate in the World Telugu Conference at Tirupati later this week. Mr. Shinde, however, is reported to have rejected the request on the ground that the party would not insist on the Chief Minister and AP Congress Committee president Botcha Satyanarayana attending the meeting and that other senior leaders could be deputed.
The APCC chief is learnt to have suggested the names of two leaders, one from Telangana and the other from Seemandhra, to represent the party and communicated the same to AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad during his meeting on Saturday. But the AICC leader was still to give a go-ahead to the two names and had assured that the party would take a decision on the issue on December 26.
Meanwhile, Mr. Azad reportedly wanted Mr. Satyanarayana to submit a list of candidates for nominated posts in association with the Chief Minister and senior leaders so that a final decision could be taken at the earliest.