Telangana bandh in AP brings normal life to
The Telangana bandh
called by the Joint Action Committee comprising major political
parties and apolitical organisations to press the Centre to announce
a specific time schedule for creating a separate Telangana state,
began on a peaceful note this morning....
New Delhi: Dismissing the charge
of backtracking on the Telangana issue, Home Minister P. Chidambaram
said that the January 5 meeting of political parties from Andhra
Pradesh is to devise a “mechanism and roadmap” on resolving the
January 5 meeting is the first step in the consultations. In the
first step we have called the recognised parties in the state to
devise a mechanism and a roadmap on the issue,” he said. The State
Chief Minister has been invited to the meeting in his official
capacity, he added.
Chidambaram said that as the consultation process progresses,
involving people beyond the 8 recognised parties would be
Referring to the two statements he had made on Dec 9 and Dec 23 on
the issue of a separate Telangana, Chidambaram said, “There was no
flip-flop on the part of the Central government, which simply
responded to the situation in Andhra Pradesh. We simply responded to
the wishes of the people of Andhra Pradesh. I hope you don’t call
the Jan 5 meeting a flip-flop,” he said.
Recalling the history of the issue, Chidambaram said the National
Common Minimum Programme of the UPA in 2004 had said the government
would consider the demand for the formation of a Telangana state at
an appropriate time after due consultations and consensus.
political parties in Andhra Pradesh contested the 2009 Assembly
elections on manifestos that, in one manner or other, declared
support for the formation of a separate state of Telangana.
referred to the all party meeting convened by Andhra Pradesh Chief
Minister K Rosaiah on December 7 in which all floor leaders of the
political parties agreed to support the proposal to adopt a
resolution in the state Assembly for the creation of Telangana.
CPI(M) had a different view and the MIM said the appropriate forum
for expressing its views would be the Assembly.
Centre received the minutes of the meeting on December 8 and on 9
the government decided to initiate the process of forming the state
December 9, it was announced that an appropriate resolution would be
moved in the state assembly. I would like to highlight key words in
the statement: they are ‘process’, ’appropriate resolution’ and
‘moved’. In the background of the minutes of the all party meeting,
I would like to ask what was wrong with that statement," he said.
Chidambaram said following the announcement major political parties
in Andhra Pradesh witnessed deep divisions among their members,
especially MPs and MLAs. It was obvious that the situation has
government tried its best to bridge the differences.
there was no agreement and it was felt that there was a need to hold
further consultations with all political parties and groups in
another statement was made on behalf of the Central government on
December 23, 2009 emphasising the need for wide-ranging consultation
and promising to take steps to involve all concerned in the
process," he said.
minister said he could not understand why this was described by the
media as a flip-flop. "There was no flip-flop on the part of the
Central government. Government was simply responding to the altered
situation as a result of divisions in the political parties," he
question on 'U-turn' of political parties including Congress, TDP,
Praja Rajyam, he said he would not agree with that view.
is a problem, we have to
find a solution. My appeal to political parties is to please help us
find a solution. That is all I can say now.
I am sure
political parties will show goodwill and accommodation to find a
solution," he said.
To a question on
time frame for resolving the issue, Chidambaram said the Centre has
only called the first meeting.
"If I had already
made up my mind, what is the purpose of a meeting. The meeting is to
help us devise a mechanism and roadmap," he said.
Congress views on smaller states, he said the party has a view on
Telangana but there is no standard view on smaller states.