Sandwitched between conflicting demands on the issue of a separate Telangana, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Saturday treaded cautiously and said pro-statehood agitation has not yet crossed the "limit of lawlessness".
"The Srikrishna Committee report has come. The Congress high command is doing an exercise of interaction with the MPs of the two regions...I think the process is going on....once this process of interaction is over... I think we will know what the Congress high command does...let them decide," he told reporters in New Delhi.
Reacting to questions on the ongoing agitaion for a separate Telangana state, Reddy said "democratically whatever they are allowed to do, we are not going to come in the way of that. They can protest according to democratic rights they have got." "These demonstrations and other things are going on...and they have not crossed any limit of lawlessness....(If) It is within the limit, the government does not mind," he said.
Reddy had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday for the first time after the release of the Justice Srikrishna Committee Report on the issue of Telangana.
The Committee had given six options including keeping Andhra Pradesh united, with Constitutional powers to the Telangana region and carving out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.
The Chief Minister also met Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K Antony, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
Amid conflicting demands, the Congress high command is treading with caution on the issue. Party MPs from Telangana have asked the government to bring a bill for Telangana in the upcoming budget session of Parliament.
On January 12 this year, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee held a meeting with a group of 14 party MPs from Telangana in which the members had made it clear that there was no alternative to a separate state.
The top party leadership has now indicated that an all party meeting on the issue is likely to held in the first week of February. Indication to this effect was given after the Congress top brass, including the Prime Minister and Party chief Sonia Gandhi, deliberated on the issue at the party's core group meeting.