Hyderabad/New Delhi: Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) on Wednesday rejected a fresh appeal from union home minister P Chidambaram to attend Thursday’s meeting of political parties on the Srikrishna report on Telangana, as Andhra Pradesh waited with bated breath to know its “roadmap” on the vexed statehood issue.
Security has been tightened across AP to ward off any trouble since violence had erupted last year in the Telangana region after the Centre decided to hold wide-ranging consultations with all stakeholders on the statehood demand.
Amid a boycott by TRS and BJP, Chidambaram will meet leaders of political parties from AP in the national capital and present the contents of the Justice B N Srikrishna Committee report on the Telangana statehood issue after which it will be made public.
The meeting of eight recognized political parties in the state — Congress, TDP, PRP, TRS, MIM, CPI, CPI(M) and BJP — was convened for discussions after the Committee, that went into the demands for a separate Telangana state and keeping Andhra Pradesh united, submitted its 800-page voluminous report to the Centre.
AP chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy met Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi and is understood to have discussed the political situation in the state and the security arrangements.
The panel submitted the two-volume report on 30 December in which it has given several options and the pros and cons to approach the statehood issue that has virtually divided major political parties on regional lines.
In Hyderabad, TRS sources said the party was staying away since Chidambaram had not responded to the objections raised by the party.
“Chidambaram has sent a second letter. He did not answer our objections that one party should not give divergent views. In the letter, he (Chidamabaram) said five parties had expressed a single opinion in a similar meeting held in January last year. But the moot point is that three parties gave divergent views,”
“The Centre is deliberately encouraging the parties to give divergent views by inviting two representatives from each party,” the sources said.
TRS is also demanding that the Centre introduce a bill in the Budget Session of Parliament for formation of separate Telangana, irrespective of the recommendations of the Srikrishna committee.
The committee has said that it has given a “roadmap” to approach the Telangana statehood issue and hoped that it would give “highest satisfaction to the largest number of people”.
In New Delhi, Kiran Reddy met Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence for over an hour and is understood to have discussed the political situation in the state arising out of the Telangana statehood demand.
During the meeting, the chief minister is believed to have briefed the Congress president about the elaborate security arrangements made by his government to thwart any violence.
The issue of Congress MPs and MLAs threatening to resign from their posts if the committee did not recommend a separate Telangana state is also believed to have come up for discussion.
However, there was no official word on what transpired at the meeting.
Meanwhile, the Congress High Command has summoned all party MPs from Telangana to the capital today for consultations.
The MPs accompanied by PCC chief D Srinivas are expected to meet Finance Minister and senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee. The MPs may also meet other senior leaders of the party today and tomorrow.
Chidambaram will give a copy of the report to representatives of political parties at the meeting and is also expected to discuss its contents.
However, taking objection to the home minister inviting two representatives from each political party, the TRS and BJP decided not to attend the meeting, saying it is a “deliberate attempt” to seek “divergent opinions” on the emotive issue.
Chidambaram had yesterday made it clear that the meeting has been convened to present the report and hoped that TRS will participate.
Congress and TDP are expected to send one representative from Telangana and non-Telangana regions to the meeting.
Leaders of the two parties are virtually split on regional lines.
After the meeting, the report will be made public and is likely to uploaded on the home ministry’s official website.