Telangana decision by January end?

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 04, 2013 14:59 hrs

Decision on a separate statehood for Telangana is likely to be taken by the end of January as promised by Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde during an all-party meeting on Dec 28, reports said on Friday.

Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi met senior party leaders to discuss the Telangana statehood issue on Thursday.

The hour-long meeting was attended by Union Ministers like Shinde, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi and Defence Minister AK Antony.

Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh and Congress chief´s political secretary Ahmed Patel were also present at the meeting, reports said.

Last month, Shinde convened a meeting on Telangana statehood issue with the leaders of eight different political parties of Andhra Pradesh.

After an all party meeting on the issue which reportedly ended inconclusively, Shinde said he had gathered all the views of parties in camera and assured that this was the last such all party meeting and a decision would be taken within a month.

"I heard in camera and I am sure there would a way forward. I urge youths to maintain peace. The government is taking a decision on this and it would be good," said Shinde.

"This will be the last meeting of all parties, I have said. I am fully satisfied and everybody went happily," he said.

While this year the protests over Telangana were rather less in fury, 2011 saw widespread protests for a separate state that put pressure on the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for bifurcation of the state, with pro-Telangana groups demanding a state carving out the Telangana region with Andhra Pradesh´s current capital Hyderabad as its main city.

The Telangana region, which merged with Andhra Pradesh in 1956 against the wishes of many locals, comprises of 10 districts - Adilabad, Hyderabad, Khammam, Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Nalgonda, Nizamabad, Rangareddy, and Warangal.

As the movement to divide the state gained momentum, politicians from coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema regions want the state of 85 million people to remain unified, and especially oppose tearing out the IT-hub city Hyderabad that would affect the state's economy.

The BJP, the TRS and the CPI have announced their support for a separate Telangana state, but the CPI-M has been opposing the creation of small states. The Congress, the TDP and YSR Congress have not made their stand clear on the issue.

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