Faced with the looming crisis in Andhra Pradesh in the wake of en masse resignations by its legislators, Congress today intensified efforts to mollify them with senior leader Pranab Mukherjee meeting a delegation of lawmakers pressing for a separate Telangana.
The delegation comprising three Ministers, few MPs, an MLA and an MLC, met Mukherjee at his residence and the discussions continued till late in the night. This is the second meeting of the delegation with senior Congress leaders today. They had one round of discussion with Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, also party in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, and explained as to why they resigned from their positions. The leaders are also expected to meet Ahmed Patel, Political Advisor to the Congress President.
The meetings are part of the Congress' strategy to engage with the lawmakers, who have put in their papers, and explain to them the position of the party and the Centre on the issue. The lawmakers are believed to have told Mukherjee that they are ready for discussions with the High Command on the Telangana statehood issue. They are understood to have told them that the resignations were basically to convey the sentiments of the people of Telangana to the Centre.
A senior member of the delegation told PTI that they told Azad that they are ready for discussions with the party High Command on the issue and conveyed their sentiments over the Telangana statehood demand. "We told him the circumstances under which the resignations were made.
He gave a patient hearing to us," a senior member of the delegation told PTI. He said they told Azad that the Centre should immediately start the process of formation of a separate Telangana state. "Whether they start the process with an all-party meeting or by any means is left to them. But we want the process to begin immediately," the senior leader said.