Consultation on separate Telangana is on: Congress

Telangana protest

Congress today said consultation process with regard to separate Telangana demand is on at various levels, but refused to set any time-frame for arriving at a decision.

Union Minister Vayalar Ravi, who has been holding talks with agitated Congress leaders from Telangana region for nearly a year now, said the issue was still under discussion and the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and PCC chief would be called here for talks.

"It is true they are expressing their resentment or protest and they are demanding Telangana for long time. They need the decision at the earliest. I fully understand their sentiment... we have not delayed their demand and never told them that nothing will be done," he said.

"It need dialogue, it need discussions. I can't tell you the date. You will have to ask this to Ghulam Nabi Azad who is the Congress's Andhra Pradesh in-charge," he said.

Ravi's comments come two days after Congress said it was not opposed to creation of a separate Telangana state.

He also claimed Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde never assured that a decision will be taken by the Centre by January 28.

"We never discussed the date. We will call and discuss CM and PCC (Pradesh Congress Committee) chief. Telangana issue is still under discussion and how long (it will take) I can't tell you," he said.

On statement by TRS MLA Harish Rao, that the party would agree for the merger provided the Congress high command announces separate statehood, he said: "It is welcome statement."

He also asked people not to "precipitate the situation".

On Lokpal Bill, he said it can be passed in the Budget session as the Government has made amendments to the committee report.

On Rahul Gandhi's elevation as Congress' vice-president, he said Gandhi is the natural choice of the party.

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