Sonia and PM had made up their minds in May

Kiran

There may be a growing perception about them not being on the same page on many policy matters, but on the issue of creation of Telangana, Congress president Sonia Gandhi took the lead and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh backed her fully.

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According to sources, Sonia took a firm stand in her opening remarks at the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Tuesday evening which passed the resolution for creation of Telangana. "The demand for Telangana has been going on for long. It's time we take a call on this," she said.

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"It has been there for long enough. We cannot keep it pending. There are many reasons for and against it but it has been going on for long," echoed Singh.

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While Ghulam Nabi Azad and Digvijaya Singh pitched in to make a strong case for creation of Telangana, they were only following a script that was learnt to have been prepared by Sonia and Manmohan Singh a couple of months earlier.

Sources said Sonia and the PM had taken a call on bifurcating Andhra Pradesh in May itself, but chose to give some time to party leaders and the government machinery in the state and Centre to sort out the details and prepare for the expected backlash from non-Telangana regions.

It was in keeping with this script that the PM inducted two more proponents of a "united Andhra" during the cabinet reshuffle last June, according to sources.

With the two new ministers — K S Rao and J D Seelam — the number of anti-Telangana leaders in the union council of ministers rose to nine, while there are only three pro-Telangana leaders. The move seemed to be an attempt to appease those opposing division of the state.

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