Grappling with the ticklish Telangana issue, Congress today indicated that the much-talked about mechanism on it was unlikely to be formed soon and asked partymen to withdraw from the Joint Action Committee agitating for statehoood, warning them of stern action for indiscipline.
Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily said the Centre was seized of the matter on the formation of a committee or mechanism to look into all issues and concerns of all regions in Andhra Pradesh.
“The terms of reference are under preparation and not yet finalised,” Mr. Moily, who is also in charge of party affairs in the state, said in a statement.
Congress leaders should “withdraw” themselves from the Joint Action Committee, he said and warned that “any violation of the party discipline will be seriously dealt with“.
Mr. Moily also asked party leaders not to rush to the press on a “sensitive” issue like this to precipitate the matters and disrupt the normalcy restored after the discussions held with all political parties and leaders by the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on January five.
The statement comes close on the heels of JAC extending its deadline to February 7 for getting the resignations of legislators accepted following Chidambaram’s announcement that a committee on the issue will be appointed by next week.
There were expectations that the Centre will announce the mechanism on Monday.
Mr. Moily’s statement could be seen as a signal that the Congress is taking its time on the mechanism. At the same time, it wants partymen to disassociate themselves from the all-party JAC which is spearheading the agitation on the separate Telangana issue.
JAC convenor C. Kodandaram had said that if the committee was not appointed by February 7, then the public representatives would mount pressure on the Speaker to accept their resignations.
Many MLAs from the region have sent in their resignations to the Speaker as per the JAC decision to exert pressure on the Centre to announce a time-frame for the formation of Telangana.