Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s meeting with eight recognised political parties from Andhra Pradesh on the Telangana issue on Tuesday is likely be stormy, with leaders from the three regions of the state sticking to their pro and anti-bifurcation stands.
Ahead of the meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh discussed the government’s strategy with his cabinet colleagues — Pranab Mukherjee, AK Antony, Veerappa Moily and Chidambaram.
The meeting is meant to devise a roadmap to resolve the contentious issue. But expectations on this count are low, given the sharp differences between parties and between leaders from different regions within the same party.
Major parties like the Congress and the Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP are deeply divided on the issue and have, in a balancing act, nominated representatives from Andhra, Rayalseema and Telangana regions for Tuesday’s discussion. While Chandrashekhara Rao’s TRS is for a separate state, actor Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam is for a united Andhra.
Many believe that Tuesday’s meeting is only the first in the series of consultations that could perhaps pave the way for setting up some kind of a committee at a later stage. “Time is a big healer,’’ said a leader while commenting on the situation in the state marked by protests and demonstrations.
Meanwhile, the pro and anti-Telangana Joint Action Committee groups in the state have called for separate rail and rasta roko (road blockade) agitations on January 5.
Amid all these, the AICC refused to spell out its stand. “The objective of the January 5 meeting is to elicit, understand and absorb whatever consensus or views exists,’’ said spokesman Abhishek Singhvi.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah, too, hinted that he would only listen at the meeting. “I’m not here to give a solution. I will attend the meeting as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh,’’ said Rosaiah, who was attacked by the pro-Telangana Congress MLAs and MPs for acting as a CM of the Andhra region, not of the whole state.