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Telangana panel seeks political opinion

IANS
Feb 24, 2010 at 06:42pm IST

Hyderabad: Justice Srikrishna Committee, which is looking into the separate Telangana state issue, has asked all political parties in Andhra Pradesh to express their views on it within 30 days.

The committee's member-secretary VK Duggal told reporters Wednesday that the committee has sent letters to presidents of all eight recognized political parties to express their views.

This might put pressure on the parties, including the ruling Congress and main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), to take a clear stand on the issue.

MORE ON TELANGANA: Justice Srikrishna Committee is looking into the separate Telangana state issue.

Ever since the central government announced Dec 9 that the process for formation of Telangana state would be initiated, almost all parties have been split on regional lines.

Leaders of major parties from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions were strongly opposing the demand for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

The five-member panel, constituted by the central government early this month, is looking into the demand for formation of Telangana state as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh.

The former union home secretary did not say if the committee would accept only one view from each party.

Duggal, who arrived here Tuesday night, said the committee would be making the first visit to Hyderabad next month to begin consultation process.

The committee members, if necessary, would make field visits and complete the consultation process before July end, he said.

"We have been given a very limited time of nine-10 months and we hope to complete the task and submit the report within the specified time," he said.

The committee would consult all stakeholders, including employees, trade unions, workers, students, women, trade and industry and civil society groups.

Duggal met Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, Chief Secretary S.V. Prasad, apart from other officials to discuss the arrangements for office and other infrastructure needed for the committee members who would be visiting Hyderabad in the first week of March.

The committee will have its permanent office only in Delhi but during its visit to Hyderabad will meet the delegations for consultations at Lake View Guest House, Jubilee Hall and Dr M.C.R. HRD Institute. Duggal also visited these places to review the arrangements.

The state government has designated senior IAS officer Rajiv Sharma as a nodal officer for coordination between the state government and the committee.

Police had made tight security arrangements for Duggal's stay in Lake View Guest House as Joint Action Committee of Telangana and some students' groups have decided to boycott the committee to protest its terms of reference.

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