Things could have been different had the parties carried out their threat to stage a walk-out

The much-awaited all-party meeting on Telangana here on Friday would have fallen apart if the representatives of political parties other than the Congress had carried out their threat to stage a walk-out to pressure the ruling party to make its stand clear on the issue of separate Statehood.

As the meeting began at 10.15 a.m. and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde called the representatives, in the alphabetical order, to present their views, CPI (M) State Secretary B. V. Raghavulu reportedly refused to speak till the Congress gave clarity on its stand. As decided by them earlier, leaders from other parties joined him in cornering the Congress.

Mr. Shinde tried to pacify and countered them by saying that the parties could not impose conditions.

He is even stated to have threatened to hold one-on-one meeting with the representatives and then asked Congress representative from Telangana K. R. Suresh Reddy to speak first. Mr. Suresh Reddy made a strong pitch for separate Telangana and said it was the commitment made by the Congress on December 9, 2009 and read out the statements made from time to time. Mr. Shinde is believed to have nodded in approval.

The Congress again came up with divergent views as Gade Venkat Reddy from Seemandhra region reiterated that people of his region preferred a united Andhra Pradesh.

The 80-minute long meeting saw 16 representatives from eight parties -- the Congress, TDP, TRS, CPI (M), CPI, BJP, MIM and YSRC -- airing their views. Barring the MIM and the CPI (M), who strongly pitched for a united State, the TRS, CPI and the BJP favoured bifurcation while YSRC representative M.V. Mysoora Reddy wanted the Centre to decide on Telangana exercising powers vested in it under Article 3 of the Constitution. The TDP citing the letter it wrote to Pranab Mukherjee in 2008 on Telangana, urged the Centre to put an end to the uncertainty.

  • As decided earlier, parties try to corner Congress on making its stand clear

  • Shinde pacifies leaders; at one stage threatens to hold only one-on-one meeting