J. Balaji

They don’t want Chidambaram to finalise terms of reference of proposed panel

TDP: Chidambaram had written an article supporting Telangana

“The proposed committee should only elicit views from stakeholders”

NEW DELHI: As the Union government is expected to announce the framework of the committee that will go into the Telangana issue in the next few days, MPs of the Congress and the TDP from non-Telangana regions have stepped up pressure on the Centre urging it not to divide the State and continue with a “united Andhra Pradesh.”

The TDP even asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh not to allow Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to handle the issue of finalisation of terms of reference of the proposed committee as he had written an article in the Indian Express on May 18, 2003 supporting Telangana.

As he had taken a view on the subject and was in a “pre-determined mindset,” he would not take a neutral view on the subject, TDP spokesman and Rajya Sabha member M.Y. Mysura Reddy told journalists here on Monday.

Senior TDP leader K. Yerran Naidu and party MPs Nimmala Kristappa (Hindupur) and K. Narayana Rao (Machilipatnam) were present.

“Mr. Chidambaram will only be handling his own personal agenda on Telangana by way of the committee and the TDP will write a letter in this regard to the Prime Minister,” Mr. Reddy said. Mr. Chidambaram should not handle the subject and the related department — Department of States, dealing with Centre-State relations, Inter-State relations etc. — which comes under the Home Ministry, he added.

The TDP pointed out that Mr. Chidambaram, in his article “Wake up to the state of States,” said: “in my view, there is a strong case for the creation of Vidarbha [out of Maharashtra, population 9.67 crore] and Telangana [out of Andhra Pradesh, population 7.57 crore]. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar should also be further divided.”

The article was later published along his other writings in the newspaper as a book “A view from outside – why good economics works for everyone?” the TDP said.

Delegation meets Moily

A delegation of eight Congress MPs from the Andhra/Rayalaseema regions, led by Eluru MP K. Sambasiva Rao, met Union Law Minister and Congress general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh M. Veerappa Moily and told him clearly that the proposed committee of the Centre should only elicit views from the various stakeholders and work for a political consensus and “not for the creation of Telangana.”

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