Congress top brass holds meeting on Telangana

Friday, January 14, 2011

NEW DELHI - Caught in a tight situation in Andhra Pradesh following divisions on regional lines within the party, top Congress leaders met here late Friday to discuss the demand for a separate state of Telangana in the light of Srikrishna panel’s recommendations.

Party sources said the meeting held at the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was attended by the members of the core committee including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

They said the meeting also discussed the steps taken by the government to tackle the price rise. They said that Mukherjee, who held discussions with party MPs from Telangana earlier this week, is also expected to meet MPs from the other two regions - Coastal Andhra and Rayalseema - of Andhra Pradesh.

The sources said that the party is also factoring in the challenge of its former MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy who has decided to form his own party. Two party MPs and 24 legislators had joined the protest staged by Jaganmohan in the capital earlier this week on the issue of farmers and water share of the state.

The government had given political parties from Andhra Pradesh a report of Srikrishna panel Jan 6 and said another meeting will be called for their feedback.

The home minister had inidicated that the meeting may be called later this month.

Earlier in the day, the party announced that D. Srinivas, who hails from Telangana, will continue as the Andhra Pradesh Congress chief.

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