The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have decided to boycott an eight-party meeting convened by Union home minister P Chidambaram at New Delhi on January 6 for evolving political consensus on statehood for Telangana.
The decision of the two Telangana stakeholders would jeopardise the consultation process.
The TRS is against the Centre’s decision to invite two representatives from each party for the meeting to discuss the Justice BN Srikrishna Committee report on Telangana, which was submitted to Chidambaram on December 30, 2010.
The party’s chief, K Chandrasekhar Rao, said on Sunday: “It is not proper for Chidambaram to invite two representatives to the meeting. It is like encouraging political parties to give divergent views.”
Rao said his party would reconsider its boycott decision if the Centre invited only one representative from each party to the meeting and each party was told to stick to one stand on Telangana statehood.
The Congress and the Telugu Desam Party had adopted dual stands on the statehood issue at a similar multi-party meeting last year.
Rao, whose fast-unto-death for Telangana statehood led the Centre in December 2009 to declare that it would take steps for its formation, said inviting two representatives from each party was the Centre’s way of dragging its feet on statehood for the region.
He alleged that the Centre had planned to delay the process for the formation of Telangana by claiming that consensus for it had not been achieved.
The BJP, which has pockets of influence in Telangana, said the eight-party meeting was called only to buy time.
The party’s state president G Kishen Reddy said, “We don’t recognise the Srikrishna committee. Where is the question attending the meet?” He asked the Centre to introduce a Bill in Parliament to create Telangana state instead of going through the rigmarole.
Till the time of going to press the Centre had not reacted to the decision of the two parties to boycott Thursday’s meeting.