The Congress Core Group discussed at length on Wednesday whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) next month in Colombo: union foreign minister Salman Khurshid and National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon were called in to brief the members of the Core Group on the issue.

This comes against the backdrop of a resolution passed recently by the Tamil Nadu government in the state assembly, demanding that India “completely boycott” the CHOGM meeting in Sri Lanka.

Government sources said that no final decision on the matter was taken, even though the domestic as well as the international dimensions of the PM’s attending – or not attending – the CHOGM meeting were discussed threadbare.

Mr Khurshid recently confirmed that he will be attending the CHOGM, adding that no decision has been made on who else will represent India at the highest level.

The Core Group also discussed the Telangana issue and decided that the government should call an all-party meeting next week to discuss issues relating the division of Andhra Pradesh, before the next meeting of the Group of Ministers on the subject. Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, made a statement to this effect later in the day.

The political parties that are to be invited are all stakeholders in Andhra Pradesh – the Congress, the BJP, the AIMIM, the TDP, the YSR Congress, the TRS, the CPI and the CPI(M).

Congress sources said that the government wanted to ensure that it had all the parties on board before bringing the Telangana Bill to Parliament: as things stand, five of these parties have in the past endorsed the creation of Telangana. Ends

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