Both President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were non- committal and just listened to the demands put forth by the leaders of Seemandhra (non-Telangana region) when they called on them here on Tuesday asking not to divide Andhra Pradesh at any cost to create Telangana.
Rather, Mr. Mukherjee, the then troubleshooter of the Congress/UPA government — who headed a committee on the separate state issue (during the UPA-1 regime) the report of which was not submitted — told the delegates numbering over 70, that he knew everything on the subject.
Dr. Singh too, who met the delegates without his officers, was careful enough not to give any hint of what was there in his mind on the vexatious issue, on which the decision of the Centre was eagerly awaited all over the country. Because whatever the decision the Centre took would have an effect on similar demands for separate states in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Assam.
The Seemandhra leaders, also met Congress leaders in charge of A.P. and Union Ministers Ghulam Nabi Azad and Vayalar Ravi.
Meanwhile, former A.P. Home Minister K. Jana Reddy, leading a delegation of over 30 Ministers, MPs, MLAs, MLCs and Congress leaders from the Telangana region met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Mr. Ravi, and pressed for announcing the process of forming Telangana immediately.
The Telangana leaders were confident that this time they would be victorious and celebrate the ensuing Ugadi (Telugu new year) happily after a great relief that they had achieved Telangana.
While the Seemandhra leaders wanted the Centre to implement the sixth option of the Justice B.N. Srikrishna committee that suggested continuation of a united Andhra Pradesh with more emphasis for socio-economic development of Telangana, the Telangana protagonists suggested the Committee’s report might be ignored.
There are already media reports that the officials of Home Ministry had advised against creation of Telangana, warning the government that such a decision would create huge surge of demands from elsewhere which would be very difficult to contain.
The note was sent for the consideration of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs about a week ago. The report suggested that the demand should not be considered from security perspective.