This Article is From Jan 06, 2011

Telangana meet: Chidambaram presents report, says 'read with open mind, persuade the people'

New Delhi/Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh waits on edge as a report that could decide the state's future is discussed in Delhi between the Home Minister and the leaders of five different political parties from the state. Three main parties - Chandrababu Naidu's TDP, the BJP, and K Chandrasekhar Rao's TRS - are boycotting the meeting. They say there's nothing to discuss - a separate state for Telangana has to be created. "I deeply regret the stand taken by them. It does scant justice to the valuable work done," said Home Minister P Chidambaram at the meeting. He then added, "I urge you to give careful, thoughtful, impartial consideration to the report" and suggested that the group meet again later this month after regional leaders have read the report.

The document that will be made public after the Home Minister's session has been prepared by the Srikrishna Committee which was set up in February 2010 with the tough agenda of unraveling what "all sections of society" feel about the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.  There are three regions - Telangana, Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra. Those from Telangana want Hyderabad as the capital of a new state.  The other two regions object strongly, not least because of Hyderabad's commercial success as an IT mecca.

The issue is so complex that even the ruling Congress finds itself struggling to keep its politicians from Andhra Pradesh together. Leaders from Telangana met the Congress' central leaders last night and said they will not surrender their demand for a new state. In recent weeks, Congress MPs and MLAs from the Telangana region have threatened to resign if the union government does not stand by them.

However, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy said last night, "I also do not know what is in the report. Experts have gone into the issue (Telangana) in detail. Let us wait for them to submit the report. Let us see what is in it before making comments."

Back at home, shops in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana have been fortified against stone-pelting and other attacks.