PM discusses Telangana with senior ministers

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NEW DELHI - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday convened a meeting of senior ministers to discuss the issue of a separate state of Telangana that has led to sharp political divisions in Andhra Pradesh.

Official sources said the hour-long meeting, attended by Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Defence Minister A.K. Antony, had been called to discuss the “issue of smaller states”.

Moily is the Congress in-charge of Andhra Pradesh.

The meeting comes two days before the Srikrishna panel report will present its report Friday. Justice B.N. Srikrishna, a retired Supreme Court judge, heads the panel formed by the government on issues relating to statehood.

The Srikrishna committee was set up in February to study, among other things, the situation in Andhra Pradesh following protests for a separate Telangana state and the counter-protests that paralysed the state.

The committee met over 100 groups including political parties, intellectuals, politicians and retired bureaucrats and visited all the 23 districts of the state.

The Andhra government Tuesday withdrew all criminal cases filed during protests for and against a separate Telangana state.

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