Centre steps up consultations on Telangana

New Delhi: The Central government today stepped up the consultation process on the contentious Telangana demand by holding discussions with Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan and Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy but dismissed the talk of President`s rule in the state.

Narasimhan met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram  separately this morning during which he is understood to have briefed them about the situation in Telangana region where the strike has entered its 27th day. As speculation mounted about a spell of central rule in the state, the Governor, a former Intelligence Bureau chief, said after a meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, “there is no no question of imposing President`s rule. “There is a popularly-elected government and it will function,” he said.

Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Kiran Reddy also spoke in a similar vein. “Why should it head (towards President`s rule)? There is no no question,” Azad asked, while the Chief Minister wanted to know: “Why should President`s rule come. How does it come? When should President`s rule be imposed? What are the parameters?”. He wondered why President`s rule has become a “fancy word”. The Centre would take appropriate measures to resolve the crisis, he told reporters. Senior Ministers–Pranab Mukherjee, A K Antony, P Chidambaram and Ghulam Nabi Azad–began their consultations by meeting five of their cabinet colleagues from the state separately to get their views on the Telangana issue, which has virtually divided the Congress on regional lines.