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Go easy on Telangana issue, new AP governor tells PM

December 30, 2009 20:05 IST

The Centre has adopted a cautious approach on Telangana, after a detailed report from new Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan warned it against buckling under the pressure from regional parties, over the creation of a separate state.

According to highly-placed sources, Narasimhan met the leaders of all major political parties in the state and then sent three top-secret reports to the home ministry. Acting on his suggestions, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh decided against taking a snap decision in the wake of the Telengana crisis.

Narasimhan's long stint with the Intelligence Bureau, including three years as its chief, helped him make a quick political assessment about the simmering situation in the state. He advised the Centre that the Telengana issue will fizzle out and the Centre should not give in to the demands of the agitators.

Sources in the North Block, which houses the home ministry, said the governor has provided the Centre a new perspective on the Telengana issue.

Dr Singh holds Narasimhan in high esteem, sources informed, adding that the PM had assured his Cabinet that the former IB chief will be able to defuse the crisis in Andhra Pradesh that erupted over the demand for Telangana state.

Narasimhan's assessment of the ground situation in Andhra is that any immediate announcement on Telengana will only strengthen the main opposition Telugu Desam Party, not the Congress government.

According to sources, as soon as the meeting between Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao and Narasimhan ended on Tuesday, the AP governor called up National Security Adviser M K Narayanan, PM's Principal Secretary T K A Nair and Union Home Secretary G K Pillai and told them that the situation was not as grim as feared by the Centre.

The sources added that Narasimhan's reports covered the details of his interactions with 14 leaders from various political parties and the possible fall-out of the bandh call given by the TRS and TDP from January 3.

Narasimhan has also been regularly in touch with Chief Minister K Rosaiah and senior state ministers. He has also assured the PM that he will stay put in Hyderabad till Sunday to help the beleaguered CM tackle the bandh, said sources.

One of his reports dealt exclusively with the law and order situation in the state, sources said. He prepared the report after receiving a briefing about the same from the IB's joint director in Hyderabad, and seeking information about the safety of central government installations.

Narasimhan met Congress Member of Parliament Jaganmohan Reddy, son of late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, on Wednesday. He has also instructed the state's chief secretary and the director general of police to keep the Raj Bhavan informed about all important events and developments.

Narasimhan's close acquaintances say the AP governor has maintained a habit he developed during his tenure as the IB chief -- keeping a record of all salient points of discussions with every political leader and bureaucrat he meets.