Following is the text of the statement issued by P. Chidambaram, Union Home Minister, in New Delhi on Wednesday (December 23, 2009):

"At a meeting of all political parties convened by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh on December 7, 2009, a consensus emerged on the question of formation of a separate State of Telangana. A statement was made on behalf of the Central Government on December 9, 2009 on receipt of the minutes of the meeting.

"However, after the statement, the situation in Andhra Pradesh has altered. A large number of political parties are divided on the issue. There is a need to hold wide-ranging consultations with all political parties and groups in the State. Government of India will take steps to involve all concerned in the process.

"Meanwhile, it is necessary that peace and harmony are restored in Andhra Pradesh and the State Government is allowed to focus on governance and development.

"The Central Government appeals to the people of the different regions of Andhra Pradesh and to all political parties and students to withdraw their agitations and maintain peace, harmony and brotherhood."

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