Press Trust of India
NEW DELHI, 27 JULY: As Congress and UPA government appear to be veering towards formation of a separate Telangana state, ministers and MPs from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opposing any division of Andhra Pradesh.
Union ministers M M Pallam Raju, K S Rao, Chiranjeevi and D Purandeshwari (all hailing from coastal Andhra) and MPs Bapiraju and Anantarami Reddy met Singh in a delegation and favoured maintaining a united Andhra Pradesh.
Sources said the delegation conveyed to the prime minister that creation of a Telangana would not be in the interest of the state and the country.
Yesterday, there were high-level discussions between the Congress leadership and the state Congress leadership on the demand for creation of Telangana.
AICC General Secretary incharge of Andhra Pradesh Digivijay Singh and his predecessor Ghulam Nabi Azad held separate discussions with chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana and Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha.
The two leaders are understood to have conveyed to the state leadership that the party has made up its mind on creation of Telangana and it was only a matter of time before it is announced.
The discussions were followed by deliberations held in the Core Group meeting held at the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi chaired the meeting which was also attended by senior Cabinet ministers A K Antony, P Chidambaram and Sushil Kumar Shinde.
Sources said the party and the UPA government was in favour of a division of the state, which could be decided after the completion of the local bodies elections this month end.
The decision could be announced in the first week of August and may be formalised at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) after which the issue could go to Parliament for passage of a Bill for the purpose.
Bapiraju said the delegation told the Prime Minister that formation of Telangana will create problems in many states including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh where there are demands for separate statehood.
He said the PM gave a patient hearing to the leaders.