New Delhi: Faced with a ticklish situation,
the government on Friday threw the ball in the court of the
political parties in Andhra Pradesh for a decision on the
issue of separate state of Telangana.
Responding to a Calling Attention Motion on the Telangana
issue, Home Minister P Chidambaram told the Lok Sabha that as
many as four political parties of Andhra Pradesh out of eight
have not yet "made up their mind" on Telangana.
Three parties - TRS, BJP and CPI - favoured carving out of
the new state while CPI-M is opposed to the idea, he said.
The parties which have not made up their mind are the
ruling Congress, TDP, YSR Congress and MIM.
"Kindly make up your mind fast," Chidambaram asked the
four parties which are undecided.
"We are urging the parties: kindly complete your process
of consultation... then we can call a meeting," he said,
appealing to the people of Andhra Pradesh, especially the
youth to maintain calm and not to take any extreme step like
The debate on the Calling Attention Motion saw a divided
House including Congress in Andhra Pradesh prompting
Chidambaram to remark that he was responding with sadness as
it was a "very divisive debate" as he had apprehended.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj expressed readiness
of the BJP to ensure 2/3 majority to a Bill for the formation
of Telangana, if the government comes out with a Bill.
The Home Minister said that a delay in the decision was in
view of the fact that "situation on the ground" altered after
the December 9, 2009 announcement of the Centre on the issue
of separate Telangana.
"The ruling political party and the opposition were
divided. I did not divide them. When this division took place,
Government of India had to take note of it," Chidambaram said,
adding that this led to the December 23, 2009 statement.
The Home Minister insisted that the recent history of the
issue is the reasons for Government of India proceeding with
"great care and caution" on the issue.
He said solution to the problem of Telangana "must come
from the Telugu-speaking people....from people of Andhra
Pradesh. Government of India can only facilitate that process,
Parliament can only facilitate that process."
He said Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is also
Congress General Secretary, was carrying out the consultation
process in the party.
"Let us not say or do anything which will add fuel to
fire. Let us douse the flames and passions," he said.
The debate saw charges and countercharges between the
Congress members from Telangana and those from rest of Andhra
Pradesh and it was a tough time for the government managers to
Swaraj dubbed the Justice B N Srikrishna Commission report
on the matter as a "AICC report" while Congress member from
Telangana Sarvey Satyanaraina wanted the report to be thrown
in the dustbin, saying, "it is not a Supreme Court judgement
which is binding on us".
The Home Minister regretted attempts to "run down" a
"distinguished judge" like Justice Srikrishna who has
contributed to the nation for many years.
Having a dig at the BJP, he said when the BJP was in power
at the Centre, the then Home Minister had on April 1, 2002 had
ruled out formation of separate Telangana. "Now their stand
has undergone a change," he said.