Special Correspondent

However, seek clarity on scope and purpose of consultations

HYDERABAD: All political parties in the State have welcomed the Centre’s decision to convene a meeting of eight recognised political parties on Telangana issue, but were wary about the agenda which was not clearly spelt out.

But within both the Congress and Telugu Desam, the view of those favouring a united Andhra Pradesh was that the scope of consultations should have been widened to include them.

The Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) said that the decision of the Centre to narrow down the consultations on the Telangana issue was welcome, but clarity on scope and purpose of consultations was lacking. JAC convenor M. Kodandaram said the agitation would continue until it got clarity.

APCC president D. Srinivas described the invitation as the first step towards creation of Telangana. “The invitation is in tune with the statement by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on December 23 to hold wide-ranging consultations on the statehood issue,” he said.

Asked who would represent the Congress, Mr. Srinivas said the AICC leadership would decide on the names. It is understood that one representative from Telangana and another representing the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions may be asked to attend the meeting.

Telugu Desam polit bureau member Kadiam Srihari hailed the Centre’s decision, but wanted it to clarify on the agenda. On the other hand, another polit bureau member, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, felt the scope of the meeting should have been widened to include the entire State instead of confining it to one region.

Welcoming the Centre’s initiative, MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi said his party could not spell out its stand without knowing the agenda or whether the consultations would be spread out over a period of time. He, however, said it was good that all stakeholders, including MIM, were being consulted whereas it was earlier treated as a Congress-and-TRS affair.

Senior leader of Praja Rajyam (PR) K. Vidyadhara Rao termed the Centre’s proposal as “very good beginning”. CPI’s deputy general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy said his party’s stand on Telangana was clear and “we are willing to extend our help in finding a meaningful solution”. But it would insist on the Congress to clarify its stand on Telangana. “It cannot go on playing games,” he said. The State CPI (Marxist) secretariat member, Y.V. Rao, said the decision was in tune with the party’s demand that the Centre expeditiously take up process of wider consultations. “It is welcome, late but wise,” said BJP president Bandaru Dattatreya.

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