New Delhi/Hyderabad: Home minister P. Chidambaram has asked political parties in Andhra Pradesh to take a stand on the issue of separate statehood for Telangana even as he sought more time to take a decision on the matter.
While replying to a motion in the Lok Sabha moved by leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj over the “delay in creation of Telangana state” Chidambaram said: “Government would like to make an earnest appeal to all sections of the people in Andhra Pradesh that they should allow the consultation process to reach its logical conclusion.”
Seeking consensus: Home minister P. Chidambaram. Photograph by: Kamal Singh/PTI
Pointing out that of the eight major parties in Andhra Pradesh, four—Congress, Telugu Desam Party, Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen and YSR Congress —have not yet made up their minds over the creation of a new state, Chidambaram said the parties should consider the justice Srikrishna committee report and form an opinion over it.
“Kindly make up your mind fast,” Chidambaram asked the four undecided parties. “We are urging the parties: kindly complete your process of consultation... then we can call a meeting,” he said.
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) itself had opposed the bifurcation of the state while it was in power from 1998 to 2004, Chidambaram added. However, the pro-Telangana lobby, including some Congress MPs, indicated that it was not in favour of a fresh round of consultations.
The Lok Sabha witnessed some acrimonious scenes between the Congress lawmakers from different regions in Andhra Pradesh. Congress MPs from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema are vociferously opposing the demand for Telangana.
“All the parties came together and MPs and MLAs resigned from their posts for the cause of the state formation. Now what is the need of consulting them again for a consensus?” G. Vivekanand, Congress MP from Peddappalli, asked.
M. Kodandaram, chairman of all-party Telangana Political Joint Action Committee (JAC), described the appeal made by home minster P. Chidambaram as “irresponsible”.
“It has been seven months since the Srikrishna committee report was submitted. He has never made an effort to consult any party or has never come out with a proper decision regarding the issue. Now this is a deliberate attempt to delay the process of state formation,” he said.
The BJP is supporting the creation of Telangana but does not have any MP from Andhra Pradesh and has just two legislators in the state assembly.