J. Balaji

Statement could be drafted to pacify members from region

We want Centre to announce time frame, say Congress leaders from Telangana

“Start consultation process immediately”

NEW DELHI: Even as 13 Ministers from Telangana in Andhra Pradesh faxed their resignation letters to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday pressing the statehood demand, and 11 Lok Sabha members remained firm on their decision to quit, the party is working out various options, including convening its core committee to discuss the issue.

As Ms. Gandhi is busy with Christmas celebrations and party seniors Pranab Mukherjee and A.K. Antony are out of Delhi, the meeting is likely to be held in the next couple of days.

At the meeting, a statement could be drafted to pacify the elected representatives from the Telangana region, sources said.

Congress representatives from the region have been urging the government to announce a time frame for forming a Telangana State and if it is not possible immediately, the consultation process, as promised by Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday, should be started immediately. This, they hope, would bring peace in Telangana.

Peddapalle Lok Sabha member G. Vivekanand said the Centre could go ahead even without an Assembly resolution and form the State by moving an appropriate Bill in Parliament. As per the constitutional requirement, the President could only seek the opinion of the Assembly and in case the opinion was negative, there would be no bar to the Centre moving ahead.

“Promises have been given by various governments for the last 50 years on Telangana. This time we will not rest until we get a firm assurance and initiation of the process,” he said.

Andhra Pradesh Congress MPs Forum convener and Karimnagar MP Ponnam Prabhakar welcomed the statement made by Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily that the Centre would continue with the process of forming a Telangana State. “But we want the Centre to announce the time frame.” The issue was not just the formation of Telangana; it involved the self-respect of four crore Telugus in Telangana who had been neglected politically, economically and socially for the last over 50 years, he said.

A senior Union Minister from Andhra Pradesh asked the Centre to drop the proposal to refer the issue to the second States Reorganisation Commission, if any, as the move would not solve the problem in the State. Besides, it would open the floodgates for various statehood demands.

More In: Today's Paper