Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Thursday maintained that the Centre tried its best to “bridge the differences” on the Telangana issue, asserting that there was no “flip-flop” on the issue as described by the media.
He said that unfortunately there was no agreement and it was felt that there was need to hold further consultations with all political parties and groups in Andhra Pradesh.
Referring to the December 23 statement of the government, he said it only emphasised the need for “wide-ranging consultations.” He promised to take steps to involve all concerned in the process.
“I do not understand why this was described by the media as a flip-flop. There was no flip-flop on the part of the Central government. The government was simply responding to the altered situation as a result of divisions in the political parties,” Mr. Chidambaram told journalists.
The Centre decided to convene a meeting of leaders of eight recognised political parties in Andhra Pradesh on January 5. Chief Minister K. Rosaiah would attend the meeting, which would devise the “mechanism and road map” for resolving the problem.
Describing the proposed meeting as the “first step in consultations,” he said all stakeholders would be involved in the process as it progresses. Seeking to put the record straight on the issue, he said the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) of the UPA in 2004 said the government would consider the demand for forming a Telangana State at an appropriate time after due consultations and consensus.
He referred to the all-party meeting convened by Mr. Rosaiah on December 7 in which all floor leaders of the political parties in the State Legislature participated.
“All political parties, except the CPI(M), supported the proposal to adopt a resolution in the Assembly for creation of Telangana. The CPI(M) referred to the stand taken by the party before the committee headed by Pranab Mukherjee. The MIM observed that the proper forum to express its views was the Legislative Assembly. The minutes of the meeting were received by the Central government on December 8 and after considering the minutes, the Central government decided to initiate the process of forming the State of Telangana,” he said.
The Minister highlighted the key words in the December 9 statement which, he said, were “process,” “appropriate resolution” and “moved.”
“In the background of the minutes of the all-party meeting, I would like to ask ‘what was wrong with that statement?”