The Joint Action Committee (JAC) spearheading the agitation for a separate Telangana state has rejected Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s offer to set up a panel next week to resolve the statehood issue.
Chidambaram said in New Delhi on Thursday, “If all goes well, we should have a committee by the end of this week. We will announce the committee by next week."
This was, however, not good enough for the JAC, comprising representatives of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Telugu Desam Party, Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and small regional groups.
“The people are not prepared to accept yet another committee to deal with the issue as they have seen many such committees in the past such as the Pranab Mukherjee committee and the Rosaiah committee. It is nothing but delaying tactics,” JAC convenor M. Kodanadaram said in Hyderabad.
Congress legislators from the Telangana region, who had earlier threatened to quit
the JAC, expressed happiness over Chidambaram’s announcement.
“Because of our collective efforts, the Centre responded positively by announcing the formation of a committee,” Congress MLA K. Jana Reddy said.
“We are pretty sure that the Telangana state will be a reality in six or seven months,” he said, adding that there was no point in the JAC demanding resignations of MLAs from the region as the Centre had responded positively.
Congress leaders in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions however reacted sharply to the Home Minister’s announcement.
“We don’t accept it. The Centre has succumbed to blackmailing by the Telangana JAC,” state party leader K Sivaji said.
At the time of going to press, the steering committee of the JAC was thrashing out a consensus on the course of action to push for statehood.
Chidambaram had in a meeting with political parties from Andhra Pradesh on January 5 said the Centre’s agenda was to "deliberate on the mechanism and lay down a road map for consultations" on the Telangana issue.