The Centre’s assurance to resolve the vexed Telangana issue within a month failed to cut ice with parties, including the CPM and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which dubbed Friday’s all-party meet a ‘big drama’ played out at the North Block by the UPA government.
“Nothing has come out of the meeting. I’m quite dissatisfied with the entire exercise. They have cheated the people of Telangana again,” TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao said, adding that a decision could have been taken by the evening. However, the government made it clear that the entire exercise was a serious effort to find an acceptable solution.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who chaired the meeting and heard the views of all political parties, said a decision would be taken after considering the suggestions put forth by the stakeholders. Two leaders each from eight parties — the Congress, BJP, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), TRS, YSR Congress, CPI, CPM and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) — attended the meet.
“I have heard carefully from all the parties. I will brief the government on the outcome of the meeting and within one month, we will come out with a result. Within one month there will be a decision,” Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters after the meeting.
When asked how many would be satisfied with the government’s decision on Telangana, Shinde said, “When a decision is taken, some people become satisfied, some people are not.”
But, in a major embarrassment to the ruling Congress party in Andhra Pradesh and Centre, two Congress representatives from Andhra gave conflicting opinions on the ‘T’ controversy during the meet.
While former speaker Suresh Reddy said he, as the Congress party representative stood for a separate Telangana, another State leader G Venkat Reddy opposed it by submitting documents in a sealed cover to the Home Minister.
After the damage was done, Suresh Reddy was forced to clarify the Congress’ stand saying that the party was ‘for’ separate Statehood and there was no division within the Congress on the issue.
“This matter has been pending for a very long time. Today, we are very happy and pleased by the decision taken by the Government of India. The Congress’ decision has been conveyed to the Home Minister and we will support creation of a separate Telangana,” Congress leader Suresh Reddy said.