PM holds meet on Telangana issue

PM holds meet on Telangana issue

New Delhi: As Andhra Pradesh waits with bated breath for the report on Telangana statehood issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday reviewed the political and security situation in the state with his senior cabinet colleagues.

The five-member Justice Srikrishna committee, which went into the demand for Telangana state, may submit its report to home minister P Chidambaram on Thursday, a day before the term of the committee expires. It will suggest “several options with their pros and cons" on the statehood issue.

Singh discussed the issue with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, defence minister AK Antony, home minister P Chidambaram and law minister M Veerappa Moily besides senior government officials, sources said.

No official word was available on what they discussed in the meeting but the deliberations are understood to have covered the various pros and cons of the statehood demand and the likely fall out on similar demands from other regions if the Telangana demand is conceded.

Chidambaram is understood to have briefed the meeting about the steps being taken by the home ministry, including sending 5,000 central paramilitary force personnel and keeping some more in standby to be deployed in case of any emergency situation.

Sources said the meeting discussed the possible situation in Andhra Pradesh, particularly in Telangana region, after the submission of the report and how to deal with it.

The central government is treading cautiously on the issue considering its sensitive nature and thinks that any action or statement may lead to tension and unnecessary trouble and have to be careful, sources said.

Meanwhile, information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni met Chidambaram and discussed the advisory issued by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) asking news channels to be “sensitive" while covering the release of the Srikrishna committee report.

The self-regulatory body has asked all editors, who are members of the NBA, to ensure that the telecast of any news relating to it should not be sensational, inflammatory or provocative.

Sources said Soni has suggested to Chidambaram appointment of a nodal officer in the home ministry for dissemination of all information related to Justice Srikrishna committee report.

The committee was constituted by the Centre on 3 February to look into the demands for the creation of a separate state as well as keeping Andhra Pradesh united.