New Delhi/Hyderabad, July 6 (IANS) The Congress Saturday stepped up its efforts to find a solution to the Telangana issue with the national capital witnessing a flurry of activity and meetings.
Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh called on party president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi and is believed to have briefed them about his visit to Andhra Pradesh this week, during which he heard the views of the leaders of all its three regions.
Digvijaya Singh, who recently took over as incharge of party affairs in the southern state, said in Hyderabad on Monday a decision on the contentious issue was in the final stage. He said the decision would be announced as early as possible.
The Congress core committee at its meeting next week, is likely to deliberate the issue and take a final decision, party sources said.
Digvijaya Singh has already asked Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha and state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana to submit a roadmap on the strategy to be adopted by the government and the party if the decision is taken either way.
Satyanarayana called on Digvijaya Singh in the national capital to discuss the Telangana issue. The state Congress chief also met central ministers from the state and the leaders from Telangana and Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra regions) to elicit their views.
Leaders from Rayalaseema, who met both Digvijaya Singh and Satyanarayana, made it clear that the state should not be divided and if the division becomes inevitable, their region should also be given separate statehood.
Minister of State for Railways Kotla Surya Praskash Reddy said two more districts should be merged with the four districts of Rayalaseema to create Greater Rayalaseema. Congress MP Sai Pratap also conveyed to Digvijaya Singh that the state's division would not be acceptable if the interests of Rayalaseema region were not taken care of.
State Endowments Minister C. Ramachandraiah met Sonia Gandhi and Digvijaya Singh and stressed the need to protect the interests of Rayalaseema region.
Congress leader from Telangana Mohammed Ali Shabbir told reporters after meeting Digvijaya Singh that the party would take a decision very soon. "He did not say when the decision will be taken but said it will be very soon."
Meanwhile, protests continued in parts of Rayalaseema over the proposed move to bifurcate the state. Students took out a rally in temple town of Tirupati, demanding that the state be kept united. Protestors formed a human chain in Anantapur.
In Hyderabad, Rayalaseema Parirakshana Samithi (RPS) founder Byreddy Rajasekhara Reddy concluded his 52-hour-long fast, demanding separate state of Rayalaseema. He warned of serious consequences if the backward region was ignored while creating a separate Telangana state.