To hold a meeting following Shinde’s assurance on T-issue

Congress leaders from Seemandhra are planning to hold a meeting in the here after Sankranti to reiterate their firm stand to retain Andhra Pradesh in its present form before the Union Government comes out with its decision on Telangana before January 28.

The meeting it is understood is aimed at exerting pressure on the Centre not to concede the demand for a separate Telangana. Minister for School Education S. Sailajanath, who is also the Convenor of Andhra Pradesh Congress Legislators Forum, told The Hindu on Friday that a meeting was on cards.

“We have not yet decided the dates but plan to certainly meet in Hyderabad to take stock of the situation as the Union Home Minister S. K. Shinde has promised to announce a decision on the statehood issue before January 28,” he said.

The proposed meeting comes in wake of Seemandhra Ministers -- T.G.Venkatesh and Sailajanath meeting the Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy in Secretariat and reiterating their stand on united Andhra Pradesh.

They said the final decision will be given by New Delhi. They said whenever a decision is taken, Rayalaseema leaders should be given an opportunity to air their concerns. Dr. Sailajanath said he met the Union Home Minister who strongly backed a united AP.

Congress leaders from Seemandhra intended to send across a strong signal that they have not toned down their aggressive stand against bifurcation of the State. It may be mentioned here that the Telangana Ministers, legislators and party seniors had recently met in Ministers Quarters where they had passed a resolution urging the Centre not to further delay bifurcation.

They went to the extent of making it clear that they would not accept a separate State without Hyderabad as its capital.