Vinay Kumar

It will hold wide-ranging consultations with all parties and groups in A.P.

NEW DELHI: Nearly a month after holding consultations with eight recognised political parties on the Telangana issue, the government on Wednesday constituted a five-member committee “to hold wide-ranging consultations with all sections of the people and all political parties and groups in Andhra Pradesh.”

The committee will be headed by the former Supreme Court judge, Justice B.N. Srikrishna.

The other members of the committee are: Professor (Dr.) Ranbir Singh, Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, Delhi; Dr. Abusaleh Shariff, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Delhi; Dr. (Ms.) Ravinder Kaur, Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT, Delhi; and Vinod K. Duggal, former Home Secretary, who will also function as its Member-Secretary. Mr. Duggal is also a member of the Justice Punchhi Commission on Centre-State relations.

Terms of reference

The terms of reference were being drafted and would be finalised in consultation with the chairman of the committee and announced shortly, Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai told reporters.

The brief official statement, announcing the constitution of the committee, laid stress on holding wide-ranging consultations with all parties and groups in Andhra Pradesh, but did not mention Telangana. It said the committee was being set up pursuant to the “statements made on December 9, 2009 and December 23, 2009 and the meeting with the eight recognised political parties of Andhra Pradesh on January 5, 2010.”

At the January 5 meeting, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said its agenda was to “deliberate on the mechanism and lay down a road map for consultations” on the Telangana issue. On the time frame, he had said it would be a “reasonable” one. The meeting with the political parties had favoured further discussions “within a reasonable time frame” on the issues that had arisen out of the recent agitations in Andhra Pradesh for and against the creation of a separate State of Telangana.

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