Telangana decision within 1 month: Home Minister
Shinde said he has heard "carefully" the opinions of eight political parties of Andhra Pradesh at a meeting held here today where their representatives suggested that a decision on Telangana should come as early as possible.
"I have heard carefully from all the parties. I will brief the government on the outcome of the meeting and within one month we will come out with a result. Within one month, there will be a decision," he said at a press conference after the all-party meeting.
Two representatives each from Congress, BJP, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), CPI, CPI(M), Telugu Desam Party, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and YSR Congress attended the meeting held at North Block.
However, TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao, the political face of the Telangana separate statehood agitation for the past few years, termed the meeting as a "futile exercise" and announced a Telangana bandh tomorrow to protest against the government's attitude towards the demand for a separate state.
Rao said he was just "not satisfied" with the Centre's announcement that a decision will be taken in a month's time.
The Home Minister said he understood that people of Andhra Pradesh have been facing problem for past several years due to the ongoing agitation demanding a separate Telangana and appealed to the youth of the state to remain peaceful.
"I appeal to the youth to remain peaceful. There will be a result. The government will take a decision. It is taking decision and it will be a good decision," he said.
Refusing to disclose details of what transpired in the meeting, Shinde said it was an "in-camera hearing" and the final decision will be taken on the basis of the opinions expressed in the meeting.
He said this was the last all-party meeting held on the Telangana issue and that he was fully satisfied with its outcome. "It was a very cordial meeting. Everyone expressed their views," he said.
TRS also alleged that three parties – Congress, TDP and YSR Congress – have failed to spell out their stand on the Telangana issue.
Sources said the two representatives of Congress gave conflicting opinions – one in favour of Telangana and the other opposing the creation of a separate state, while YSR Congress put the ball in the Centre's court by saying the central government itself should take a decision.
TDP leader Kadiyam Srihari said his party was standing by its October 18, 2008 decision when it had communicated to the central government that it was in favour of formation of a separate Telangana state.
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said his party is for the continuance of Andhra Pradesh with statutory safeguards for Telangana region.
"But if the Union government sought to bifurcate the state on the criteria of backwardness and neglect, we suggest that a Rayala-Telangana state should be formed by bringing together Rayalaseema and Telangana regions with Hyderabad as the capital," he said.
While TRS, BJP and CPI supported bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of Telangana, CPI(M) opposed it.
Asked how many people would be satisfied with the Centre's decision on Telangana, the Home Minister said, "When a decision is taken, some people become satisfied, some people are not".
Shinde said he had heard the opinion of every political party and he has taken note of that. "Everything will be considered when a decision is taken," he said.
The meeting was also attended by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy.