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Dec 28, 2012 at 08:32am IST

All eyes on all-party meet on Telangana; political parties sceptical about outcome

New Delhi: Telugu people living not just in Andhra Pradesh, but all across the world await the outcome of the all-party meeting convened by the Union Home Ministry on Friday in New Delhi on the Telangana statehood issue, though political parties themselves are cynical about its outcome.

Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao said, "We don't have much hopes from this meet. We are going because we want to again ask the government to form Telangana immediately. No all-party meet is required. The Congress is simply delaying the matter."

Parties like the TRS, BJP, CPI have been agitating for a seperate Telangana. But it's the Congress, the main opposition Telugu Desam and Jagan Reddy's newly formed YSR Congress party that are yet to take a clear stand on the issue, with most of their cadre split between the Andhra and Telangana regions.

The TDP and YSR Congress have put the onus on the ruling party Congress to take a decision on the pending issue. The Congress, which is supposed to take a call on the issue, has been indifferent given divergent claims of its leaders both at the state and the Centre.

An earlier meeting of eight "recognised" political parties from Andhra Pradesh on the Telangana issue held on January 6, 2011, a week after the Justice Srikrishna Committee submitted its report to the Centre remained inconclusive.

The Srikrishna Committee Report, which was prepared after a year-long exercise and wide-ranging consultations with "all stakeholders" at a cost of over Rs 40 crore in the year 2010, has been cold shouldered by Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde himself, who said that the report would not be the basis for "consultations" at the all-party meet on Friday.

In fact, Shinde's announcement on December 4 convening the all-party meet had kindled hope that the Centre would try to find a solution to the vexatious issue that has been causing turmoil in Andhra Pradesh for the last three years.

However, Shinde himself took the sting out of the meeting by saying that the consultation process would continue "till we find a final solution". Unlike in January 2011 when the TDP abstained from the all-party meeting, representatives of all the eight invited parties will be present this time. All invited parties are likely to turn the heat on the Congress and force it to spell out its stand first, without being evasive.

With Additional Inputs From PTI

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