Congress split over timing, need for Telangana
Ghulam Nabi Azad is of the opinion that creating Telangana would escalate the law and order problem in the region.
New Delhi: The Congress is divided over bifurcating Andhra Pradesh and creating a new state of Telangana. Several party leaders have questioned the timing and need for creating Telangana, sources say.
Congress's Andhra Pradesh in-charge and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is of the opinion that creating Telangana would escalate the law and order problem in the region. Sources say that Azad feels that even if Telangana is made into a separate state, a decision on the issue should be deferred for now. Even Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Finance Minister P Chidamabram feel that the decision to grant statehood to Telangana should be delayed.
The Congress leadership feels that a Gorkhaland type option is not feasible as it will be unacceptable to those who want Telanagana. Moreover, there is the over the business hub of Hyderabad, which is also the capital of Andhra Pradesh. A Chandigarh type shared capital is also not an option as Hyderabad in the centre of Telangana region and not on the border of two states like Chandigarh.
On December 28, 2012 after an all-party meeting, Shinde had announced that the government would make an announcement on Telangana within a month. According to the sources, government is considering only on two options out of six options given by the Srikrishna Committee.
The first option is to divide Andhra Pradesh into two states namely Telangana and Seemandhra. Telangana's capital would be Hyderabad while Seemandhra will have a new capital. The other option is not to divide Andhra Pradesh and instead constitute a Telangana Regional Council. A regional council will help in the social, political and economic development of the area and this option was also declared as the most practical one by the Srikrishna Committee.
The Congress top leadership met at party President Sonia Gandhi's residence to resolve the Telangana tangle. Sonia met Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Defence Minister AK Antony, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh and some other party leaders to come to a decision on creating the state of Telangana by diving Andhra Pradesh.
Azad had on Wednesday indicated that a decision on carving a separate state of Telangana out of the state could be delayed. "I don't think it can be put into 4 walls of 30/35/40 days. Bottom line should be that there is a resolution to solve it. I don't think media and friends from other region should read too much that one month means only 30 days," Azad had said.
Earlier, Shinde had on December 28, 2012 said that the decision would be finalised within a month. There is section within the Congress that feels that a decision on Telangana should be taken as quickly as possible to ensure that the party does not lose its clout in the region.
Some Congress leaders are of the opinion that the party should either take a decision in favour of Telangana or against it as keeping in the vexed issue in limbo would damage the party's prospects. They are not in favour of creating an autonomous council for Telangana.