Congress core group discusses Telangana issue

New Delhi: Amid signs of the Telangana agitation turning more serious in the coming days, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi grappled with the separate statehood issue this evening.

A meeting of the Congress Core Group, headed by Gandhi was also attended by AICC General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad who is the in-charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, dealing directly with those favouring and opposing separate Telangana.

The meeting of the Congress top brass, which included Home Minister P Chidambaram and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, was held on a day when the Telangana political Joint Action Committee (JAC) threatened to launch a strike from August one if the Centre failed to take steps for the formation of a separate state by then.

Incidentally, the Monsoon Session of Parliament is also starting from August one.

There was no official word on what transpired at the meeting which lasted over an hour and was held against the backdrop of the terror attacks in Mumbai.

At the AICC briefing, party spokesman Shakeel Ahmad steered clear of several questions on the Telangana issue saying it was a sensitive matter and an emotional issue.

Azad had recently said that the Telangana issue cannot move an "inch" without the Andhra Pradesh Assembly passing a unanimous resolution.

Azad`s remarks on the Srikrishna Commission report during a recent visit to Beijing had triggered a furore. He had reportedly said that the Commission recommendations were not a solution and the Telangana debate needed to be started from a scratch.