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Jan 31, 2013 at 07:37pm IST

UPA key ally Sharad Pawar raises Telangana issue with PM, says delay in decision won't help

Hyderabad/New Delhi: As protests continued in Hyderabad for separate statehood for Telangana, the United Progressive Alliance key ally the Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar raised the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying a delay in decision on the issue would not be helpful.

Pawar on Thursday became the first UPA-constituent to openly come out in support of an early decision on Telangana. He said he was expecting a meeting of the government on the issue soon. His statement came amidst threat by Congress MPs from Telangana to send their resignations to Speaker Meira Kumar if urgent steps were not taken for formation of a separate state.

According to the Union Agriculture Minister, the NCP has been supportive of separate Telangana for long and had even held a rally with Telangana Rashtra Samithi President K Chandrasekhar Rao few years back. Pawar, whose party is also a major partner in the Congress-led coalition in Maharashtra, said that his party has no objection if Vidarbha region also becomes a separate state.

Delay in decision on Telangana won't help: NCP chief to PM

His statement came amidst threat by Congress MPs from Telangana that they will resign if urgent steps were not taken.

Even as the NCP chief raised pitch for separate Telangana, the government counselled patience over the issue. "The issue is being addressed. We need to be patient. We need to be engaged and need forbearance," Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said at a press conference in the national capital.

Meanwhile, the TRS has thanked Pawar for supporting it. "Sharad Pawar has been consistent in his support to Telangana. We thank him on behalf of Telangana people," TRS MLA T Harish Rao said in Hyderabad.