New Delhi: The Congress has once again put off a decision on Telangana statehood and a final word is expected by the end of July. The party's core group met on Friday, but it said the Congress Working Committee will take a final call.
Sources said there are divisions within the party on giving the statehood option. Earlier, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha and Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The meeting took place hours after Andhra CM denied reports that he has threatened to quit if Telangana is formed. He also met Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
It's been one of the longest and the most violent agitations for statehood. And with elections not too far away now in both Andhra Pradesh and at the centre, pressure is mounting on the Congress to take a final decision on the issue. "But the options are limited and choices are few. Time is also running out," Digvijaya Singh said.
Sources said there are divisions within the party on giving the statehood option despite violent agitations.
The options are:
- Create a separate state of Telangana
- Form an autonomous state council giving freedom in governance and finance
But for those who have been agitating for Telangana, there is no middle path. "The Congress itself stands divided on the issue," Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao said.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad have argued that granting separate statehood to Telangana could pose law and order problem and even encourage Naxalism. Digvijaya Singh and P Chidambaram have, however, defended a quick decision even suggesting a separate state.