New Delhi: With the Centre's deadline on the issue of Telangana approaching, Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi, held one more round of talks on the issue Saturday evening. The meeting of the Congress Core Group deliberated exclusively on the statehood issue at a time when Andhra Pradesh is divided on regional lines on it.
The talk is that another round of consultations could take place before Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's departure for Dhaka on January 28. A section in Congress feels Shinde could speak before his Dhaka visit. The party high command has been grappling with the issue as there has been no unanimity among the top leaders.
Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is AICC General Secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh, was specially invited to the meeting. A couple of days ago, Azad had hinted that the a decision Telangana could be delayed. "I don't think one month..(deadline should be taken so literally). When one says tomorrow, it does not mean tomorrow morning. When one says one week, sometimes it is two weeks", Azad had said when told that the Centre's one-month deadline on Telangana issue is fast approaching.
The Home Minister had said on December 28 that the Centre would take the decision on the issue within a month. Among the various ideas, one is said to be the creation of a territorial administration on the lines of Bodoland and Gorkhaland for the backward region. Two separate delegations from Telangana region and outside have so far met several central leaders, including the Prime Minister, articulating their views on the sensitive issue but got no assurance from anyone.