Some Cong Ministers Want Fresh Deadline on Telangana

Some Cong Ministers Want Fresh Deadline on Telangana
Under fire from pro-statehood forces, Congress leaders from Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh are taking divergent stands on their future course of action for forcing the Centre's hand on the contentious issue.

While seven Congress MPs have announced that they would resign as parliamentarians and party members and forward the same to Sonia Gandhi tomorrow, along with a covering letter-–demanding that either Telangana state be formed at once or their resignations be accepted, nine ministers have said they would "observe restraint" for the time being.

The ministers, however, hastened to add that they were ready for any "sacrifices" and also announced they would set a fresh "deadline" for the high command for resolving the issue.

"Yes, we will set a deadline but that need not be revealed to you...It will be between us," Panchayat Raj Minister K Jana Reddy told reporters after a meeting with fellow ministers at the secretariat this evening.

The seven MPs – Ponnam Prabhakar, Madhu Yashki, G Vivekananda, S Rajaiah, Manda Jagannatham, Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy and Gutta Sukhender Reddy – who met separately, said they would announce their future course of action tomorrow.

Ministers Jana Reddy, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, D Sridhar Babu, P Sabita Indra Reddy, D K Aruna, V Sunita Laxma Reddy, Basavaraj Saraiah, Prasad Kumar and P Sudershan Reddy held a closed-door meeting in Jana Reddy's chambers and discussed the fallout of Union ministers Ghulam Nabi Azad and Sushil Kumar Shinde's statements on the statehood demand.

Six other ministers from the region, including Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, stayed away from the meeting.

"Postponement of a decision on the issue created some misgivings about the Congress high command and also us. But we understand that a positive decision will be taken. We firmly believe that Telangana state will definitely be formed", Jana told a crowded press conference at the end of their meeting. (More)

"They were observing restraint without getting agitated since it was a decisive moment in their fight for a separate state. They are ready for any sacrifices to protect the self-respect and the aspirations of Telangana people," he added.

Sridhar Babu said they were "sorry" that the decision on the vexatious issue has been put off again though it has reached the "final stage".

"We all will meet again and decide how to increase pressure on the Congress high command," he added.
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