Union Finance Minister and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee has assured a delegation of nine Andhra Pradesh Ministers from Telangana that “some good news” would be available soon and asked them to withdraw their resignations.
Information Minister J. Geeta Reddy, who briefed journalists after meeting Mr. Mukherjee here on Sunday, said: “We will discuss it [request to withdraw resignations] among ourselves. Our aim is not being in power, but meeting the expectations of the people of the region. Their aspirations are to have a separate State. This is the right time to have Telangana.”
Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah said the Ministers conveyed the ground situation, especially in Hyderabad, to Mr. Mukherjee.
Earlier, the delegation met other party seniors and urged them to convey to the leadership the need to announce a time frame for forming a Telangana State.
Thirteen Ministers from the region earlier faxed their resignation, in a joint letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The delegation met Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy and Congress Working Committee member K. Keshava Rao (both belong to Telangana). It did not want Mr. Jaipal Reddy to quit and said he should be in the government and fight for Telangana.
It told the leaders that Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement last Wednesday that further consultation would be held with political groups and others caused an apprehension among the people that the subject had been put on hold.
In the next couple of days, the Ministers plan to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Ms. Gandhi and Mr. Chidambaram to press their demand.
P. Sudarshan Reddy, Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, V. Sunita Laxma Reddy, D.K. Aruna, D. Sridhar Babu, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, R. Venkat Reddy and J. Krishna Rao were part of the delegation.
Meanwhile, all the 11 Lok Sabha members from Telangana, who have already sent their resignations to Ms. Gandhi, are expected to come back to Delhi on Monday to put pressure on the Centre.
Peddapalle Lok Sabha member G. Vivekanand said there was no question of their withdrawing the resignation letter until they got some satisfactory statement from the Centre on the statehood issue and time frame. He said only the Congress could form Telangana as it had the numbers in Parliament. He allayed apprehensions of the Andhra settlers in Hyderabad, stating their interests would be protected.
The MP also wanted the police to stop ‘excesses’ on agitating students.