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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Congress core group meeting on Telangana today

Agencies  Hyderabad, July 12, 2013
First Published: 08:35 IST(12/7/2013) | Last Updated: 14:59 IST(12/7/2013)

A crucial meeting of the Congress core group on Friday will discuss the Telangana issue with "both options open" as a decision "cannot be postponed anymore", Digvijaya Singh said early Thursday.

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A top Congress strategist told HT, "We have to pick between two options. To accede to the demand for a separate Telangana state or to grant a special economic package mixed with doses of autonomy for the region."

Congress in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, Digvijaya Singh told reporters in New Delhi that a decision “cannot be postponed anymore” but added that “both options are open”.

The outcome of the crucial meeting of Congress Core Group on Friday on the vexed Telangana issue is being awaited with bated breath in Andhra Pradesh.

Digvijaya has submitted a report to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on the demand for Telangana.

Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior Cabinet ministers and leaders form party's core group are expected to attend the meeting.

Congress leaders from Telangana and non-Telangana regions camped in Delhi on Thursday to drum up support for their cause with the party high command.

"We told him (Digvijaya) that there is no alternative to united Andhra Pradesh, which is in the interest of weaker sections and others as well," state primary education minister S Sailajanath told reporters in Delhi.

Those from Telangana hoped that the high command would take a decision in favour of a separate state and that their non-Telangana counterparts should not try to scuttle it.

Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, state Congress president Botsa Satyanarayana and deputy chief minister C Damodar Rajanarasimha, who have been tasked with preparing a roadmap leading to the 2014 elections, left for New Delhi on Thursday.

“Whatever the decision of the high command is, all the leaders should respect it,” Satyanarayana told HT.

Top sources said the report refrains from making any particular suggestion but identifies the possible fallout such as deterioration in the law and order situation or boost to Maoist extremism in many parts of the region.

Meanwhile, the Students' Joint Action Committee for 'Samaikyandhra' (united Andhra Pradesh) has called for a bandh on Friday.

Students, lawyers and other sections organised rallies and other forms of protest at several places in the region today to highlight the united Andhra Pradesh cause.

Almost indicating that a significant decision is expected to be taken at the meeting, Digvijaya said that while the government would consult UPA partners on the issue, it would also need to take Opposition parties on board as the decision could require amendments to the Constitution.

(With PTI and HT inputs)


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