Anita Joshua

Chief Minister attends meeting of Congress core group in New Delhi

NEW DELHI: With consensus eluding the United Progressive Alliance on separate statehood to Telangana, the Congress central leadership on Tuesday decided to continue with its discussions while weighing all options.

This was stated by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy after attending a meeting of the Congress core group in the Capital. Insisting that the core committee had not met exclusively to discuss the vexed issue, he said the meeting had been convened to deliberate on a wide range of matters relating to the State including separate statehood to Telangana.

Briefing mediapersons about the meeting, Dr. Reddy said the chronology of events on Telangana was discussed as also the problems being faced by the State Government and the Congress as a result of the controversy. Referring to Congress Working Committee member G. Venkataswamy’s statement that the second State Reorganisation Commission (SRC) should have been set up immediately after the last elections, the Chief Minister said that the Congress had delayed a decision on that count as it wanted to build a consensus first. Conceding the absence of consensus, Dr. Reddy added that it was now too late to set up a second SRC. “So, the Congress leadership will discuss and weigh the options available.” Further, he sought to underline the fact that the Congress leadership was in favour of all-round development, and all efforts would be made to ensure that no region or section of people is left out in the nation’s march to progress.

Though Dr. Reddy insisted that the core committee meeting had not been called exclusively to discuss the Telangana issue, Congress sources pointed out that it was not usual for a Chief Minister to be invited for the meeting of this closed group of a select few top leaders of the party.

Earlier in the day, Dr. Reddy met Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel and party in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Veerappa Moily. During the course of the day, Mr. Moily had a separate meeting with some Telangana leaders who sought to remind the Congress of its election promise on separate statehood.

Speaking to newspersons, Mr. Moily said the Congress was mindful and respectful of the sentiments of the Telangana people. And, accepting the fact that the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee had made a promise on this front, he said an appropriate decision would be taken at the right time.