Bowing to the pressure of general and assembly elections next year, the Congress core group headed by Sonia Gandhi is likely to decide on the future of Telangana issue today. Top leaders from Andhra Pradesh including Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy will meet PM Manmohan Singh and other members of the core group today in Delhi.
The crucial meeting will be held at 5.30 pm in the evening. The group is chaired by the party chief Sonia Gandhi while PM Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Defense Minister A K Antony and Home Minister Suhil Kumar Shinde are its members. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is likely to attend the meeting.
Andhra Pradesh CM, Deputy CM and state Congress chief will make presentations before the group and the issue will be discussed about whether the state should remain united or if a separate Telangana region be carved out of it.
Telangana issue has been one of the longest and most violent agitations for separate statehood. For most who have taken part in the agitations see only one solution - a separate Telangana with its own elections, funds and other sops.
But the Congress has been standing divided with Shinde while Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad is against the formation of a separate state since it could disrupt law and order within the state and encourage naxalism. Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh and Chidambaram have pushed for a speedy decision.
"But the options are limited and choices are few. Time is also running out," Digvijaya said indicated earlier this week. Also, the elections are not so far away in AP and the Centre might give into statehood demands.
In December 2009, the then Home minister Chidambaram had announced the initiation of a separate Telangana state. But the process was put on hold due to mass resignation by MPs and state legislatures from Seemandhra.
It was in 2000 when three new states were created and India's internal borders altered. Redrawing Andhra's boundaries could spark similar calls elsewhere. With Gorkhaland, a century-old agitation for a separate state, is now on top of the list.