The Congress high command is likely to announce its much-awaited Telangana decision in 10 days. And, if newly-appointed AICC state affairs incharge Digvijaya Singh’s remarks are anything to go by, a Telangana State might just be a reality.
Singh, on a two-day visit to the State, dropped enough hints to this effect here Monday. “I know dividing a state is a very painful experience. I personally went through this painful experience when I was the Madhya Pradesh CM and the state was bifurcated. Division of a state means from chief secretary to the lowest clerk, all posts have to be divided between two states. Even every shelf in a government office has to be divided equally,” he reportedly said in his address to the PCC executive members at the Gandhi Bhavan.
Congress leaders, who attended the meeting, told Express Singh left none in doubt as to what he meant. In fact, late in the evening, emerging from a series of meetings with party leaders, he told waiting journalists that after taking a final decision, the Centre will ask the State Assembly to adopt a resolution. “But it is not binding on the Central government,” he added.
He said the Congress high command’s ongoing exercise to thrash out a solution to the Telangana tangle had reached a final stage as it was essential to solve the problem ahead of elections.
“Soon our party leadership and the Centre will take a call. I have asked the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and the PCC chief to arrive at a decision with mutual understanding. I have asked them to prepare a roadmap suggesting two options to resolve the issue. Based on their report, the party leadership will take a final call. Whatever the decision, I am sure it will be in the best interests of the nation as well as the people of Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
However, he declined to set a deadline, admitting that the Congress had failed to meet several deadlines. Singh, sources said, raised the Telangana issue on his own at the PCC executive meeting. “The high command might take a final decision at the next meeting of the party core committee in a week or 10 days. AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi will attend the meeting,” he was quoted as saying by party leaders. According to them, he said Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana would be invited to the meeting. Even Governor ESL Narasimhan, on a visit to Rajahmundry, said the Congress high command might decide on the Telangana issue soon after Digvijaya Singh’s return to Delhi.