Coastal AP leaders say don't divide state

Last Updated: Sun, Jul 28, 2013 12:07 hrs
​Best of the Week – Is Telangana to be or not to be?

Ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs) from Andhra's coastal and Rayalaseema regions on Saturday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to oppose a division of the state.

Union ministers M M Pallam Raju, K S Rao, Chiranjeevi and D Purandeshwari (all from coastal Andhra) and MPs K Bapiraju and Anantarami Reddy met Singh. Sources said they told him creating Telangana would not be in the interest of the state or the country.

The Congress party was reported to have on Friday given an in-principle nod for the creation of Telangana, after high-level discussions between the party leadership and the state unit leaders. The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is likely to ratify the decision soon.

The All-India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary incharge of Andhra Pradesh, Digivijaya Singh, and his predecessor, Ghulam Nabi Azad, held separate discussions with Chief Minister

N Kiran Kumar Reddy, state unit chief Botsa Satyanarayana and Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha. The national leaders are understood to have conveyed to the state leadership that the party had made up its mind to create Telangana and it was only a matter of time before it was announced.

The discussions were followed by deliberations in the core group meeting at the residence of the Prime Minister.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi chaired the meet. Senior Cabinet ministers A K Antony, P Chidambaram and Sushilkumar Shinde also attended. Sources said the party and the UPA government were in favour of a division of the state, which could be decided after the completion of the local bodies' elections this month-end. The decision could be announced in the first week of August and might be formalised at a meeting of the CWC, after which the issue could go to Parliament for passage of the relevant Bill.

Bapiraju said the delegation told the prime minister that the formation of Telangana would create problems in many of the states, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, where there are demands for separate statehood. He said the PM gave a patient hearing to the leaders.

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