On a day when Congress lawmakers from the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh tendered their resignation, the Centre on Monday said it has not taken a final decision on the “extremely sensitive and complex” issue of carving out a separate State of Telangana.
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram appealed to the Congress MLAs, a Rajya Sabha MP and Andhra Pradesh Ministers from Telangana to be patient and allow the consultation process to continue.
“The Central government’s view will be made known after the consultation process is over. We have to bring everyone on board. There is a strong view of a large number of people. We are yet to take a final decision,” Mr. Chidambaram told journalists at a press conference here.
“This is an extremely sensitive and complex issue. One should have understanding and patience,” he said.
The Home Minister said the December 9, 2009 statement made by him was “not made by an individual but made on behalf of the Government of India.” It had stated that the Centre would initiate the process for the formation of a separate Telangana State. However, the Centre made another statement on December 23 which stressed that more consultations are needed on the issue.
“When you refer to my statement on December 9, 2009, you should also refer to the December 23, 2009 statement,” Mr. Chidambaram said while replying to a query.
“The MPs and MLAs had forewarned us on the issue that they would be obliged to offer their resignation on July 4. It is not that alarming. The Congress general secretary in-charge is talking to the MPs. He is in touch with the MLAs,” he said.
Replying to a question as to when the all-party meeting on the issue would be held, Mr. Chidambaram said that two of the parties have not yet finalised their views on the issue. He said the meeting would be called after the views of all parties became known. However, he did not name the two parties. “There are only eight recognised political parties,” he added.
On the other hand, the Congress said the party was not against the creation of smaller States including Telangana and that efforts were on by the Government to evolve a consensus on it. Responding to questions on the resignation of party MPs and MLAs on the issue, party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said Telangana is both “sensitive and emotional” and hoped that an appropriate decision would be taken at an appropriate time.