Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today met Congress president Sonia Gandhi and is understood to have submitted a report on his consultations with party lawmakers from Andhra Pradesh on the Telangana issue, amid mounting pressure for an "early decision" on the statehood demand.
Azad, the general secretary in-charge of party affairs in the state, is believed to have briefed Gandhi about the situation in Telangana region in the wake of the fortnight-long strike in support of the creation of a separate state during the meeting.
This is the first meeting between Gandhi and Azad on the Telangana issue after her return from the US. Azad, who had interacted with party ministers, MPs, MLAs and MLCs from all three regions of the state on the contentious statehood demand, had on Wednesday said he would submit the report by today. The Congress high command had in July asked Azad to hold consultations with leaders from Telangana, Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions on the issue and elicit their views. Azad has been receiving delegations of ministers, MPs and MLAs from all the three regions since July and concluded the process on Wednesday. During the interactions, the leaders, who are divided deeply on regional lines, had stuck to their known stands.
While Telangana MPs and MLAs have resigned from their posts demanding that the Centre and the Congress immediately announce the formation of a separate state, their counterparts from the other two regions have opposed any move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. During the consultation process, the leaders made powerpoint presentations and gave documentary evidence to prove their points.
Meanwhile, normal life was badly affected as the day-long Hyderabad bandh called by the Telangana Political Joint Action Committee (JAC) as part of the ongoing agitation for a separate state, began in Hyderabad today. Shops, businss establishments were closed at many places in the city. Schools and other education institutions have already declared holidays for the Dusshara festival.