‘Unless a consensus is reached on the issue, consultations with various stakeholders will continue’
Hinting yet again that a decision on bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh was not an easy task, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad said unless a consensus was reached on the issue, consultations with various stakeholders would continue.
“Unlike Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, it is not an easy task to divide Andhra Pradesh,” Mr. Azad told reporters at the Greater Hyderabad Congress Committee office here on Friday.
Mr. Azad’s observation coupled with Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s recent statement on the statehood issue is being seen as a setback for the Telangana Congress Ministers and the leaders, who have been expressing optimism about a favourable decision by this month-end.
The AICC leader was very clear in reiterating that the Congress party’s doors were always open for holding consultations on the issue. “For the last two years, we have been holding discussions with Ministers, MLAs, MPs, office-bearers and stakeholders of all the three regions. The consultations will continue. Anyone, including Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K. Chandrasekhar Rao and representatives of other parties can always come and discuss the issue with us,” he said.
Summing up the outcome of the discussions held so far between with Congress leaders and stakeholders in Telangana, Mr. Azad said: “We are still to reach any decision. Unless we arrive at consensus, the efforts will continue.”
The AICC general secretary was here to inaugurate the ‘Arogya’ health exhibition and spent over 90 minutes interacting with Congress leaders including Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana.
On arrival at the Exhibition Grounds, Panchayat Raj Minister K. Jana Reddy hosted high tea for the Union Minister as the president of Exhibition Society. Mr. Azad was closeted with the Chief Minister, PCC chief, Mr. Jana Reddy and Congress MPs – G. Vivekananda, Ponnam Prabhakar and V. Hanumantha Rao.
Mr. Azad was later closeted with the Chief Minister for about 15 minutes when the two leaders reviewed the political situation in the State. Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy reportedly informed him about the success of ‘Indiramma Baata’, mass contact programme, and sought the green signal of the Congress high command to reshuffle his Cabinet and fill the nominated posts.