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Chidambaram feels Telangana heat

By A Correspondent
Last updated on: December 15, 2009 22:25 IST
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An emergency meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday night took no decision on the vexed Telengana.

Choosing to keep mum on the issue, the meet felt any decision will only trigger more protests and violence, while stressing the need to restore peace and harmony in Andhra Pradesh.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was forthright in seeking clarifications from Home Minister P Chidambaram on announcing the decision of the Congress Core Committee on Telangana as the United Progressive Alliance's. The argument was picked up by Mamta Banerjee. She went to the extent of saying, "Will you all come and face the West Bengal electorate?" Dravida Munnetra Kahzagam's Dayanidhi Maran, too, took on the home minister on the Telangana tangle.

A one-liner by Harish Khare, media adviser to the prime minister, "The CCPA took stock of the situation in Andhra Pradesh and appeals to the people and all political parties in Andhra Pradesh to maintain peace and harmony."

Sources said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee prevailed in the meeting to give priority to return of normalcy in Andhra Pradesh. He said any decision on Telangana would come only if the Andhra Pradesh Assembly unanimously adopts a resolution for creation of the separate state.

Pranab Mukherjee, who headed a sub-committee on Telangana during the first tenure of UPA, said that issue was too sensitive and emotional.

"I understood it, but when such a major issue was being announced, it was the Congress duty to have taken the NCP, TMC and DMK into confidence." By this remarks, Pranab was clearly hinting at the PMO and the home minister as well.

Some members wanted that the government to clarify Home Minister P Chidambaram's remark on Telangana that triggered violence in Andhra Pradesh, but Mukherjee shot down the idea, pointing out that he had just said that the Assembly would pass the resolution for Telangana.

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A Correspondent in New Delhi