New delhi/Hyderabad: Four political entities in Andhra Pradesh, including the ruling Congress, haven’t yet made up their minds on the question of creating a separate Telangana state, home minister P. Chidambaram said on Friday, as party general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad submitted a report on the divisive issue to Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Andhra Pradesh’s main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), the YSR Congress Party named after former chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen are the other three parties that are yet to decide their stance on Telangana, Chidambaram told reporters
Once they decide, he will call an all-party meeting to discuss the issue, he said.
Chidambaram spoke on the 18th day of an indefinite general strike that has disrupted normal life in the Telangana region that comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad, the Andhra Pradesh capital, where a total shutdown was enforced by activists on Friday. Telangana activists are campaigning for the division of Andhra Pradesh and the conferring of statehood on the region, home to 35 million people.
Chidambaram said he hoped the parties will “make up their mind quickly, as I appealed in Parliament, to enable me to call an all-party meeting.”
As home minister, he is trying to hasten the process, Chidambaram said. “But it is a political matter and government has its own limitations,” he added.
Azad, who is the Congress general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh affairs, on Friday met Sonia Gandhi and handed her a 45-page, four-chapter report he has prepared after consultations with Congress members of Parliament and state legislators from all three regions of the state -- Telangana, coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, Telugu-language television channel ETV2 reported. The contents of the report were not disclosed.
The Telangana Joint Action Committee, comprising pro-statehood organisations, has organized an indefinite general strike in the region starting 13 September, shutting schools and colleges, taking public transport off the roads and disrupting administrative work.
A delegation of Telangana leaders led by K. Chandrasekhara Rao, leader of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, flew to New Delhi on Friday to meet with Central leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to demand an immediate decision on the formation of a Telangana state, Telugu TV channels reported.