Hyderabad: Pro-Telangana groups have reacted sharply to Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad's statement on Telangana issue, saying it once again "exposed" the party.
Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), an umbrella group of various parties fighting for carving a separate Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh, said by going back on its word to announce a decision by Jan 28, the Congress party has once again betrayed people of Telangana.
JAC convenor M. Kodandaram told reporters at Khammam Wednesday night that if the central government failed to make a favourable announcement by Jan 28, it would have serious consequences. He said the JAC would intensify the agitation to achieve Telangana state.
Azad told reporters in New Delhi that a decision is not likely by Jan 28. "One month does not mean 30 days," he remarked when asked about union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's statement after Dec 28, 2012, all-party meeting that a decision on the issue would be announced in a month.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), whose leader K. Chandrasekhara Rao had walked out of the all-party meeting, said it stood vindicated. "We knew that the Congress will once again go back on its word and that is why we termed the meeting a futile exercise," Rao said.
Another TRS leader, Shravan termed Azad's remarks as "irresponsible" and said they were an insult to people of Telangana.
Osmania University Students' Joint Action Committee has called for shutdown of all educational institutions in Telangana Thursday to protest Azad's statement.
Azad's statement came as a shock to Congress leaders from Telangana camping in the national capital. The leaders, including ministers and MPs, called on Azad to voice their unhappiness.
Madhu Yaskhi, MP from Nizamabad, told reporters after the meeting that only the decision was postponed and hoped that a positive decision would be made soon.
He alleged that the decision was delayed due to the pressure from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra) leaders.