When a group of pro-Telangana Members of Parliament went to meet Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday to "discuss" the separate state issue, Mukherjee snapped at them and said: "Please don't waste my time. There is nothing more to discuss now."
Minutes before Mukherjee sent them back, the MPs opposed to a separate Telangana state held a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. There too, the visitors had to return empty-handed as the PM remained non-committal about issuing any "detailed statement" despite an appeal from the group of MPs.
Not only has the Congress brass decided to put Telangana on the backburner for the time being, it has resolved to keep a safe distance from both groups--for and against Telangana. When one pro-Telangana MP tried to appease the irked finance minister and said, "Sir, we have come to thank you for the efforts", Mukherjee retorted: "You don't need to do that either. Please don't come here again."
On Tuesday evening, an informal statement from the Prime Minister's Office was carefully calibrated not to include a single word on the Telangana issue but to focus on peace and harmony. The anti-Telangana lobby was visibly dissatisfied and they met the top leaders today with the expectation of extracting a 'detailed statement'.
"We feel that the government should come out more clearly to defuse the tension in the state. There is need for a statement which common people can understand. Issues like evolving consensus and Assembly resolution need to be simplified as people won't be able to understand," Minister of State for Human Resource Development D Purandareswari told media-persons before meeting the prime minister.
While the PM remained non-committal about any detailed statement, he did, however, assure that efforts were on to work out an amicable solution to defuse the political crisis.
Singh also reminded the MPs that they should accord priority to restore normalcy in the state. After the meeting, Rajya Sabha MP T Subbarami Reddy told reporters: "The prime minister sought our cooperation to bring calm in the state hit by agitation over the Telangana announcement." Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned barely minutes after meeting for the day as the Opposition protested on price rise and Telangana issue. While members of the Bharaiya Janata Party, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Shiv Sena and Left parties raised slogans on price rise, the Telugu Desam Party members raised slogans against creation of Telangana and demanded a unified Andhra Pradesh.