New Delhi: As the Congress and the UPA government appear to be veering towards formation of a separate Telangana state, Andhra Pradesh Congress leaders have written to party president Sonia Gandhi urging her not to split the state. They have also sought an appointment with the Congress President.
This comes even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday assured all Andhra Pradesh cabinet ministers that the Congress Working Committee (CWC) will consider all options before a final decision on a separate state is taken, sources said.
The assurance comes after the Prime Minister met Andhra Pradesh cabinet ministers from the Seemandhra region, who are demanding a unified state. Sources said the delegation conveyed to the Prime Minister that creation of Telangana would not be in the interest of the state and the country.
Sources told CNN-IBN the party is set to take the plunge on statehood for Telangana with Hyderabad likely to be a joint capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for five years. The Congress leadership had on Friday discussed the Telangana issue amid mounting speculation that the party may be veering round towards the creation of a separate state.
Sources also said that UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi will take the final decision which is likely to be announced before the Monsoon Session of Parliament on August 5. The issue was discussed by the Congress core group meeting which was also attended by Union Defence Minister AK Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
AICC General Secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, Digvijaya Singh, said after the core group meeting, "The consultation process is over. Now await for the decision of the party as well as the UPA government."
Earlier, Sonia Gandhi had a brief meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy. Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarsimha and PCC Chief Botsa Satyanarayana had also attended the meeting.
The party is caught in a bind as Andhra leaders are opposing statehood. Many MLA's from the Congress as well YSR Congress had resigned and many more have threatened to do so. After the meeting, there were indications that the Congress is certainly leaning towards the decision of the separate state of Telangana. However, the final decision will remain with the Congress Working Committee (CWC).
In 2001, the CWC had in fact passed a resolution asking for the creation of a state's reorganising committee to pave way for the creation of a smaller states, one of them being a separate state of Telangana.
Meanwhile, TRS leader K Kavitha said that even though they welcome the efforts being made the Congress, the party is disappointed with no date being fixed.