Amid reports that decision on the contentious Telangana issue will be taken this month, Congress on Monday said it was not against creation of smaller states including Telangana, but admitted it was a difficult matter to resolve and time consuming too.
“We are not against creation of smaller states including Telangana... Efforts to evolve a consensus in the matter is on only the concerned General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad will be able to say what is happening in the discussions,” party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said in reply to a volley of questions at the AICC briefing.
When told that Mr. Azad had said that a decision on the issue will be taken this month and whether a month meant 30 days, he said, “Yes... if our General Secretary has said, then there will be something in his mind.”
Replying to questions whether it was a very difficult issue to solve, he said it was “a difficult issue...there are several opinions and it is a time consuming process”.
Mr. Ahmed’s remarks came close on the heels of the Congress core committee last week deliberating on separate Telangana issue and Mr. Azad’s indication on Sunday that a decision is on the cards in the current month itself.
Mr. Azad’s statement comes in the backdrop of two Congress MPs quitting the party and joining Telangana Rashtra Samithi over complaints that the Centre was not serious about creating Telangana.
“Telangana is a priority before the Congress and it’s taking it seriously... Deliberations are on with all stakeholders. Consensus is being built in all the three regions,” Mr. Azad had said, adding, “In all probability, the Centre will take a decision within this month.”
Reports had it that statehood to Telangana, to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh’s 10 districts, was not an easy decision to take as Seemandhra Congress leaders have opposed such move tooth-and-nail.
However, pro-Telangana leaders have always made their point clear: dilly-dallying on Telangana could impact negatively on the party’s fortunes in the general elections next year, in which Andhra Pradesh has 42 Lok Sabha.