T Congress leaders’ ‘last’ Delhi visit!

HYDERABAD: In a last-ditch effort to pressurise Congress leadership on the Telangana issue, the party leaders from the region Wednesday left for New Delhi to meet core committee members.

The Congress leaders, including MPs, state ministers and legislators, will call on union Home Minister P. Chidambaram Wednesday afternoon and union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the evening.

The party leaders have already set June 30 as the deadline for the party leadership to make a clear-cut statement on the demand for a separate Telangana state.

They want the central government to abide by its Dec 9, 2009 statement on the issue and table a bill in the ensuing parliament session to carve out a separate state.

Terming it as the "last visit to Delhi" on the issue, legislator Damodar Reddy said if the leadership failed to respond positively, they would chalk out a direct action plan. "We are ready to make any sacrifice for Telangana," he told reporters at the airport.

Member of Parliament G. Sukhender Reddy said while they were ready to undertake any number of visits to Delhi, they would not agree to anything less than a separate state.

"No package or any other alternative is acceptable to us," he said, when asked to comment on reports that the centre may agree to give a special economic package and Gorkhaland-like autonomy to Telangana, but not separate statehood.

The MPs had last week called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who assured to discuss the issue with the party leadership.

Jupalli Krishna Rao, a state minister, resigned earlier this month while some other ministers are planning to follow suit if the centre delays a decision on the issue.

Following a hunger strike by Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, the centre on Dec 9, 2009 had announced that the steps for formation of a separate Telangana state will be initiated.

As the statement sparked protests in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, the government went on backfoot and decided to have wider consultations.

The government later constituted the Srikrishna committee which suggested six options, including formation of a separate Telangana state and maintaining status quo.(IANS)


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