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Telangana issue haunts Andhra

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 - 5:11pm IST | Place: Hyderabad | Agency: PTI
What is holding the Centre and the Congress back from announcing a decision on the Telangana demand?

What is holding the Centre and the Congress back from announcing a decision on the Telangana demand?

Congressmen from Andhra Pradesh have many answers to this question that has been haunting the state for a long time now, even as they claim that a decision on division of the state "has already been taken" but only a "formal announcement is pending".

The ruling party is said to be not sure of its prospects even if it took a decision to create a new state as the anti-incumbency factor is reportedly strong.

The Congress is not sure if the proposed merger of Telangana Rashtra Samiti -- in the event of creation of a separate state -- will bring in any gain, observers say.

Also, with indications that K Chandrasekhar Rao is now leaning towards the NDA and the BJP taking a clear stand on the statehood issue, the Congress is caught on the defensive.

A "silent wave" reportedly in favour of YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy even in Telangana region has become a cause for concern.

Some of the ruling party legislators from Telangana are orchestrating a campaign to drum up support for Jagan, much to the discomfiture of the Congress.

The so-called fence-sitters -- both from Telangana and Andhra-Rayalaseema regions -- are waiting for an opportune moment to jump on to the Jagan bandwagon and pull down the government, they say.

Seeing the ensuing Budget session through thus becomes a demanding task for the Congress.

"Given these ground realities, our high command is not in a position to take a call on Telangana.

It is, however, weighing various options to come out of the mess with little damage," a senior minister from Telangana who took part in talks with the AICC leaders in New Delhi recently told PTI.

As the first option, the Congress is said to be prepared to announce it is in favour of granting statehood for Telangana subject to approval of the UPA partners.

This will take a few months to happen.

Next, the Congress will keep the "consultation" process running for a few more months and announce its readiness to divide Andhra Pradesh towards the end of the year.

Yet another option is to wait for the outcome of the Assembly elections in Karnataka, due towards the end of this year.


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