All eyes on party’s central leadership for January 5 meeting

AICC is likely to name one each from Telangana and Andhra/Rayalaseema regions

State leaders yet to receive an official communication from the Centre on the meeting

HYDERABAD: A two-member team of Congress leaders named by the AICC is likely to attend the January 5 meeting convened by the Centre to discuss the Telangana issue.

All eyes are now on the Congress party’s central leadership on the composition of the delegation that will attend the meeting in New Delhi. APCC president D. Srinivas told The Hindu on Tuesday night that the central leadership alone would decide the names.

According to reliable sources, the AICC is likely to name one representative each from Telangana and Andhra/Rayalaseema regions. Sources in the APCC said they were yet to receive an official communication from the Centre on the meeting.

Meanwhile, various sections within the Congress welcomed on Centre’s decision to hold a meeting. The APCC chief said the Centre has kept its word that it would hold consultations as part of process of creation of Telangana. “This is a welcome step and it is very clear that the process of statehood has begun,” he said.

AICC general secretary K. Keshava Rao said January 5 meeting only reiterates the commitment of the Congress party for statehood. Several MPs from Telangana said today’s announcement was yet another positive signal of the Centre towards creation a separate State.

Information and Public Relations Minister J. Geetha Reddy, former Minister T. Jeevan Reddy and others met the APCC president to discuss the developments. Ministers from Telangana and MPs, who met at the residence of Ponnala Lakshmaiah, felt that fresh initiative was a welcome sign. Telangana Congress Monitoring Group convenor G. Niranjan hailed the invitation.

Panchayat Raj Minister Botcha Satyanarayana said Centre’s meeting with all parties would go a long way in resolving the contentious issue. He hoped that the political parties which earlier supported a resolution in the Assembly on Telangana would not reverse its stand at the meeting on January 5

Government Whip Sake Shailajanath welcomed the decision to hold a meeting. He said Centre should not only consult the political parties but also the stakeholders and other groups before taking a decision. Congress legislators from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are likely to meet on January 2 or 3 to take discuss the invitation.