Sonia, KCR to meet on Telangana issue today

Congress president Sonia Gandhi will possibly meet TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday in a bid to resolve the row over Telangana’s statehood.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi will possibly meet Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday in a bid to resolve the row over Telangana’s statehood.

Reports claim that state’s Governor ESL Narasimhan will also hold a separate meeting with Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Defence Minister AK Antony on the issue.

Narasimhan yesterday met the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairman and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and discussed the matter.

Sources claim that a resolution on the matter is due next week and the Congress-led UPA government is likely to accept the TRS`s demand in order to win its support in the region.

The vexatious Telangana statehood issue is hanging like a Damocles` sword on the Congress` head and the issue has caused the adjournment of the Andhra Assembly several times in the past two-three weeks.

Soon after the by-elections in March to seven Assembly seats (including six in Telangana), everyone thought the "decisive moment" has arrived but six months down the line the Congress is still keeping everyone guessing.

Now, there is again talk -- and anticipation -- that the "decisive moment" is round the corner and that the Telangana "dream" will soon become a reality.
However, given the turmoil that the UPA government is facing following the Trinamool Congress` decision to quit the coalition, it is now pertinent for the Congress to take a decision at the earliest.

Quite unusually, Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao has been camping in New Delhi for the past fortnight, reportedly lobbying with the Congress top leadership to make an announcement on Telangana.

The TRS has given enough indications that it was ready to merge with the Congress if the `T` state is created, as promised by the Centre on December 9, 2009.

KCR, the self-styled torch-bearer of Telangana movement, is under pressure from the pro-statehood groups -- notably the Joint Action Committee -- and the planned Telangana March in Hyderabad on September 30 has only put him in further fix.

KCR held confabulations with Union Minister Vayalar Ravi twice in the last week and reportedly urged the latter prevail upon Sonia Gandhi to come out with an announcement on Telangana.
That has not happened but the Congress unofficially sent out a teaser that an all-party meeting would soon be convened on the contentious issue.

This is seen as a Congress` ploy to cool down frayed tempers as Hyderabad is set to host the prestigious International Convention on Biodiversity from October 1.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Telugu Desam, which is facing an existential crisis in the region due to its ambivalent stand, has decided to clear the air and notify its stand afresh.

TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu held a series of talks with his party colleagues from Telangana and Andhra-Rayalaseema regions and told them that a fresh letter would be sent to the Centre affirming the party`s stand on the statehood demand.

The YSR Congress, whose stand is also being sought by the Centre as it has emerged as a potent political force in the state, has already said it respected the "sentiments" of Telangana people but it was for the Centre to take a final decision on the statehood demand.

With PTI Inputs