Union Law Minister and Congress general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh M. Veerappa Moily on Thursday reiterated that the Union government was clear in its decision to continue the process of forming a separate Telangana State. “We have not reconsidered the decision or put the issue on the back burner. There is no question of going back.”

Clarifying on the doubts expressed by some Congress MPs belonging to the Telangana region on Wednesday’s statement by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Mr. Moily told The Hindu that as an Assembly resolution was not immediately possible (in view of backtracking by some parties) now, the Centre wanted to involve all stakeholders and further continue the consultation process.

When pointed out that the Telangana leaders were asking the Centre to announce the timeframe within which the separate State would be formed, he said: “That is the next step. First we have to pass the resolution in the Assembly and for that the consultation process has to continue.”

Telangana could not be formed overnight and even Telangana Rasthra Samithi president K. Chandrasekhara Rao had accepted this, Mr. Moily pointed out.

11 MPs resign

Meanwhile, 11 Congress MPs from Telangana have faxed their jointly signed resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, expressing disappointment over the latest statement of Mr. Chidambaram. They also met Ms. Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and handed over the copy of the letter.

Mr. Patel reportedly told them that there was no going back on the promise made on a separate State and they need not have any “ambiguity or apprehension or doubts” in this regard.

Peddapalle MP G. Vivekanand, one of the signatories of the letter, said the MPs wanted the Centre to announce a timeframe for forming a Telangana State.

They told Mr. Patel that when Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh could be formed within 18 months why not Telangana too? They insisted on a fresh statement expressing the government’s commitment to Telangana as Wednesday’s announcement had caused “doubts”.

The other Congress MPs who have signed the letter are: K. Raj Gopal Reddy (Bhongir), Ponnam Prabhakar (Karim Nagar), P. Balram (Mahabubabad), Sarvey Sathyanarayana (Malkajgiri), M. Jagannath (Nagarkurnool), Sukender Reddy Gutha (Nalgonda), Madhu Goud Yaskhi (Nizamabad), Anjan Kumar Yadav (Secunderabad), S. Rajaiah (Warangal) and Suresh Kumar Shetkar (Zahirabad).

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told journalists here that the government could not take “one-sided” decisions as a consensus was required on the issue.

On the adverse reaction by pro-Telangana groups, Ms. Soni said, “Slowly and after some time, people will accept it [the decision].”

“Any important decision is taken with everybody’s consent, after consultations with everybody. And this is what was felt by the government over the last few days that it is not possible at times to implement a one-sided decision all of a sudden,” she said.

The Cabinet did not discuss the issue, she said.

Congress spokesman Abishek Singhvi said there was no need for any precipitate action on the part of the party MPs in view of Mr. Chidambaram’s announcement.

“Only wide consultations have been called for, that alone will ensure an abiding result acceptable to all sections,” he said.

Central forces

As the violence in the Telangana area continued unabated, the Centre has rushed 1,150 additional Central police forces to Andhra Pradesh. The forces were airlifted from New Delhi, Jalandhar and Chandigarh.

More In: National | News | States