New Delhi: Concerned over the protests in Seemandhra region of Andhra Pradesh, Congress on Wednesday made a strong pitch for invocation of ESMA to bring normalcy, insisting at the same time that the decision on Telangana is "irreversible".
Party spokesman PC Chacko, however, declined to give a timeframe for formation of the new state when asked by reporters whether it would be formed before or after the Lok Sabha polls and whether a bill on the issue will be brought in the winter session of Parliament.
Conceding that the situation after the decision on Telangana has become "very complex", he wanted leaders of all political parties to help create a congenial atmosphere for discussion and dialogue. He alleged that several parties including BJP and TDP were playing "opportunistic politics" on the issue.
Noting that it was the responsibility of the government to bring normalcy, Chacko said that if best efforts to ensure a dialogue fail, then strong action should be taken including invocation of Essential Services Maintenance Act so that common people do not suffer.
Asked whether President's rule should be imposed on the state, he said that such a situation might come, but was not there at present. "Government of Andhra Pradesh may be finding it difficult, but it is in control."
To a volley of questions on the attitude of chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and whether he was a stumbling block for formation of the new state, he said, "There is scope for such an allegation, but not a fact ... Differences we tolerate."
Chacko also trashed statements of former Andhra DGP Dinesh Reddy critical of the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister on the statehood issue. "These are very wild allegations. Any responsible person should have made them when he was in charge. It is little irresponsible to make them after retirement."
On Telangana, he said that the "CWC has taken the right decision at the right time. We still hold that view ... All process has gone through. Some people did not dare to take such a decision. We mustered courage ... It was a genuine demand."