Grappling to find a solution to end the Telangana impasse, the Congress has almost ruled out creating a separate state.
Despite fierce agitations crippling large parts of Andhra Pradesh for the past month, the ruling party has not agreed on carving out a separate state out of fear that it may stoke similar movements across the country, especially in geo-strategically sensitive Darjeeling.
The Congress brass is currently contemplating other options like an economic package to address the development issues of the region. But steps will be finalised through widest political consultation taking various political parties on board.
The party will also convene a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, likely after Diwali (October 26), to discuss the issue before slating an all-party meeting.
Formally, Congress maintains that no decision has been taken on the issue and that the talks will continue between various state-holders.
Earlier, the party was not ready to discuss the demand for a separate state. This time, however, during the top-level consultations, the pros and cons of accepting a separate state was discussed. But most of the central leaders felt that separate Telangana would boost similar demands from regions like Vidharbha, Darjeeling or parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Congress’ biggest ally, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress is vehemently opposed to any move to stoke separate Gorkhaland district in Darjeeling. On Telangana, she has always maintained complete silence but Congress managers feel, any move for Telangana would irk her and damage the coalition ties.
Making a separate administrative council in the line of Gorkhaland is also temporarily ruled out. Congress managers pointed out that such councils are in place only for tribal areas (Bodoland, Darjeeling, Karbi Alnglong). If a general area is brought under a council, it will again pose a threat to state administrations.