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HindustanTimes Wed,01 Oct 2014

Congress defers biting bullet on Telangana

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 12, 2013
First Published: 19:14 IST(12/7/2013) | Last Updated: 03:06 IST(13/7/2013)

The Congress on Friday yet again deferred a decision on Telangana, leaving it to the party's highest decision making body, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), to take a final call on the contentious issue.
 
However, no date for the CWC meeting has been fixed yet. Congress sources said there will be few more meetings at various levels before the CWC deliberates on the issue.
 
The Congress Core Group, headed by party chief Sonia Gandhi, was widely expected to take a final decision on Telangana but the move to postpone it once again brought to the fore a deep divide within the party on the issue.
 
At the two-hour meeting attended for the first time by party vice president Rahul Gandhi besides other members, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kirankumar Reddy, state party president Botcha Satyanarayana and deputy chief minister Damodar Rajanarasimha gave separate presentations on various aspects of the issue.
 
"Congress party has held widest consultations with all political parties, with all leaders and finally the core group has now met.....Now the Congress party shall call the CWC and will take a decision," party general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh affairs Digvijaya Singh said after the meeting.
 
The Andhra Pradesh CM is learnt to have yet again voiced his strong opposition to the move, arguing that it would be extremely difficult to divide the state's resources.
 
A section that is against the bifurcation move has consistently argued that the Congress stands to lose politically and electorally in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, which together have 175 assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats. This is in contrast to Telangana which has 117 assembly and 17 LS seats.
 
This section has further maintained that if Telangana is carved out of Andhra Pradesh, the party stands to be a major loser as the YSR Congress will stand to gain in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions while it it was a win-win situation for the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) which would gain notwithstanding whether the new state is formed or not.
 
However, the pro-Telangana section has refused to buy this argument. They have repeatedly told the central leadership that the Congress would be wiped out from the region if a resolution to the issue was delayed further.

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