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Telangana row: Centre delays statement by a day

By Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
December 22, 2009 20:13 IST
The statement of the Central government on the situation in Andhra Pradesh has been postponed till Wednesday as the ongoing consultations with the different groups from Telagnana and coastal Andhra regions in New Delhi remain inconclusive on Tuesday.

Earlier there were indications that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was going to make a statement clarifying Center's position on Telangana issue on Tuesday in a bid to restore peace and normalcy in Andhra Pradesh.

Now he is likely to make the statement on Wednesday to provide a way out from the present deadlock in which the entire state was divided along the regional lines.

But despite a series of meeting throughout the day, the statement could not be finalised and the process has been delayed, as the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram had left the capital for Kolkatta on Tuesday evening, the leaders from Andhra Pradesh present in New Delhi said.

Apart from theĀ  core committee of Congress party headed by party chief Sonia Gandhi discussing the prevailing situation in Andhra Pradesh, Central leaders also held meetings with the Members of Parliament from Andhra-Rayalseema and Telangana regions.

The meeting of Andhra-Rayalseema MPs with party general secretary and law minister Veerappa Moily and Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmad Patel was also attended by Home Minister Chidambaram.

The Congress MPs from Telangana region were also summoned to Delhi on Tuesday for meeting with the Central leaders. Party sources said that the Congress leadership was taking every care to ensure that the latest statement does not create new problems but create an amicable environment.

But it was not clear how the Prime Minister or any one else can reconcile what seems to be unbridgeable gap between the Telangana and Andhra regions on the question of division of the state.

Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K Chandrasekhara Rao, whose fast unto death triggered the chain of events leading to the present situation, as well as the Congress leaders from Telangana region, have already issued a warning to the Center against backtracking from the promise of a new state.

"If Central government goes back on its promise, there will be a bloodbath, a nuclear explosion in Telangana region," warned TRS chief on Tuesday.

He urged the Central government not to buckle under pressure from the Andhra and Rayalseema leaders as they can not understand the pain and problems of Telangana people.

He said that if Center backtracks, then 100 MLAs and many MPs from Telangana region were ready to resign.

Congress MP from Nizamabad Madhu Yashki Goud and senior Congress legislator from Nalgonda R Damodar Reddy have also issued a threat of resignations if Center does not keep its word on Telangana state.

Similar warnings of dire consequences were issued by the Congress MLAs and MLCs from Andhra and Rayalaseema region. After a meeting in which the current situation was discussed, they threatened to further intensify the agitation if Center does not take a decision in favour of united Andhra Pradesh.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad