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UPA Government not bound by any deadline on Telangana, says Pranab

Special Correspondent

Makes light of TRS demand for resolution of tangle within two months

Cabinet panel yet to hear from BJP on Telangana issuePriority for addressing developmental imbalancesNo mention of Telangana in draft political resolutionCongress' economic resolution for inclusive agenda

HYDERABAD: In a virtual rebuff to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi's demand that the UPA Government announce its stand on Telangana within two months, the chairman of the UPA sub-committee on Telangana, Pranab Mukherjee, said that he was not bound by such deadlines.

"I told them it is not simple. This is not a new issue and the matter has been hanging since 1956. I don't think an issue which has been pending for half a century will be solved immediately," he said.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 82nd AICC plenary here on Sunday, Mr. Mukherjee said that the CWC in its resolution adopted on October 30, 2000, had expressed the opinion that there were many valid reasons for carving out separate Telangana and Vidarbha. But the formation of new States would lead to several issues, which could be adequately addressed by constituting a second States Reorganisation Commission (SRC).

The issue had come up again after the formation of the UPA Government and a group of Ministers had been asked to study the issue.

No word from BJP

The Cabinet panel had already initiated proceedings to obtain the views of all political parties and it was yet to hear from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

"We have received proposals from several other parties. Some have favoured and some others have opposed it. But we are yet to receive the opinion of the main Opposition party," he said.

To a question, he said that his job would become easier if the BJP says no to the proposal.

"In such a case, I will be in a position to take a decision as the chairman of the sub-committee," he said.

Mr. Mukherjee's categorical statement was in tune with the line taken by the Congress plenary itself.

Clear message

In a dampener to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi's aspirations, the plenary sent a clear message to its coalition partner at the Centre that it was more interested in addressing the developmental imbalances and disparities within the States and between the States.

While there was no mention of Telangana in the draft political resolution, in the economic resolution the party said that the UPA should evolve legislative, administrative and developmental strategies for backward regions in the country with an inclusive agenda.

Equal opportunities

The thrust of the plenary in its political agenda too was on providing equal opportunities to all in every region so that divisive or terrorist tendencies do not raise their heads.

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