New Delhi: Senior Ministers Pranab Mukherjee
and P Chidambaram on Saturday elicited the views of their junior
cabinet colleagues and Congress leaders from Andhra Pradesh on
the Telangana statehood demand, which has virtually divided
the party on regional lines.
Mukherjee and Chidambaram met Minister of State for HRD D
Purandeswari and Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju
separately here during which they sought to know their views
on the contentious issue.
Both Purandeswari and Raju hail from the coastal Andhra
region. Congress leaders from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema
regions are opposed to formation of a separate Telangana
The consultation process came a day after Mukherjee,
Chidambaram and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad deliberated
on the Telangana issue at length amid indications that
protesters in the region would intensify their agitation for a
The process is also seen as an attempt to get the views
of party leaders from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions
on the statehood demand.
After the meeting, both Purandeswari and Raju said they
expressed their opinion on the issue.
"They asked us to give our opinion. I gave mine and also
spoke about people`s apprehensions," she said.
Raju said besides giving his opinion, he told the leaders
that the "impasse" should end soon and an early decision on
the issue should be taken.
The Ministers are expected to interact with PCC chief and
other leaders of the party later in the day. Actor Chiranjeevi
is also rushing to the capital.