30th July New Delhi: The crucial UPA meet on Tuesday to decide the Telangana statehood has ended and as per latest reports the allies have endorsed the formation of a new state. Confirming the same, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told the media, “A unanimous decision has been taken on the formation of Telangana in the UPA coordination committee meet.”
Now all eyes are on the Congress Working Committee meet on what call they will take. Earlier, Congress president Sonia Gandhi held talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today.
Tuesday evening will see UPA allies’ and Congress Working Committee meets to take a final decision on the formation of Telangana state.
Sonia met Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, AICC general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh Digvijay Singh, former in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad and Sonia’s political secretary Ahmad Patel after her meeting with the PM.
The deliberations comes at a time when the Congress high command appears inclined towards creation of Telangana.
This despite strong opposition from party leaders from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions to the formation of Telangana; they have warned the party of the problems that could follow the division.
In a last minute attempt to convince the party high command against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister MM Pallam Raju met Sonia Gandhi. Talking to reporters later, Raju said, “We have expressed our concern, requested party high command to take a responsible decision.”
Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy is also in Delhi. He is likely to meet party president Sonia Gandhi.
The Congress had refuted reports that Reddy and other Seemandhra ministers have issued veiled threats to step down from their posts if the state is bifurcated. During his meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other leaders, last week, Reddy is learnt to have told them that “creating Telangana is a suicidal step and that it would be difficult for me to preside over any move to bifurcate the state. I will not be a party to any destructive decision”.
The pro-Telangana faction in the Congress has also upped its ante against any last minute change in the plan.
Senior pro-Telangana leader Hanumantha Rao said, “This isn’t a political decision, it’s a decision for the people. People are sacrificing their lives for formation of the state, for people this decision should be taken.”
Another party leader Ponnam Prabhakar said, “We are expecting that the dream will be fulfilled. Request everyone to please obey party decision.”
Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Raja Narasimha said, “100 percent positive that Telangana will be a reality.”
And there are fence sitters like Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy.”He said, “Whatever decisions come from CWC & party High Command we will abide by that.”
Crucial Congress meet at 5.30 pm
The final decision on Telangana is expected to be taken at a meeting of party’s highest policy making body, the Congress working committee on Tuesday evening. The CWC will meet after deliberations in the UPA Coordination Committee.
As per reports, the coordination committee will meet at 4 pm followed by the meeting of the CWC at 5.30 pm.
While the UPA meeting is an attempt to secure a stamp of approval of the constituents of the ruling alliance, the Congress Working Committee meeting is to take a final call after it gets the sense about the stand of the allies on the issue.
Telangana or Rayala-Telangana?
Of the many suggestions doing the rounds is the possibility of the Congress going for creation of Rayala-Telangana state comprising of 10 districts of Telangana and two districts – Anantpur and Kurnool – of Rayalseema region.
The proposal, however, has found no takers in Telangana region. The TRS has said that it is opposed to Rayala-Telangana idea and maintained that it wants Telangana with 10 districts and Hyderabad as its capital.
In fact, the status of Hyderabad is the trickiest issue. While Telangana supporters don’t want to let go or even share the metropolis with the new state, people from other regions in the state are worried about the fall out of Hyderabad going with Telangana.
Reports also claimed that UPA government is likely to convert Hyderabad into a Union Territory for five years and declare it as the joint capital of two states after Telangana becomes a separate state.
Allies support Telangana
NCP chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has made a strong pitch for the formation of separate Telangana.
Another ally RLD leader and Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh is a votary of smaller states and has been advocating for long the creation of Harit Pradesh out of districts of Western Uttar Pradesh, his home turf.
Additional forces rushed to AP
An additional 1,000 paramilitary personnel have been rushed to Andhra Pradesh by the Union Home Ministry to deal with any situation arising out of a decision on Telangana.
The additional forces, along with the existing 1,200 paramilitary personnel, are expected to be deployed in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, where protests may erupt if the Centre takes a decision in favour of bifurcating Andhra Pradesh for creation of Telangana state.