Sonia Gandhi steps up discussions on Telangana issue

Sonia Gandhi

Close on the heels of all-party meeting on Telangana issue, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today held consultations with senior party leaders as it prepared to take a decision on the vexed matter by the promised month end.

Gandhi held consultations with Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, his predecessor and Finance Minister P Chidambaram as also Union Ministers Ghulam Nabi Azad and Vayalar Ravi, who have been looking after party affairs in Andhra Pradesh.

AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh, who had been in-charge of the state sometime back, was also present.

Defence Minister A K Antony and Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president, were also present at the hour-long deliberations indicating that the party has become pro-active towards a decision on the contentious issue.

The meeting comes a day before Congress MPs from Telangana region meet in Hyderabad to decide the future course of action to put pressure on the Centre to take a favourable decision on the statehood issue.

On the all-party meeting on December 28, the Home Minister had announced that a decision on Telangana will be taken within a month.

The Congress high command has been for long grappling with problems in Andhra Pradesh -- the only major state, where it is in power on its own.

Party spokesperson Rashid Alvi had yesterday sought to delink the issue of Telangana with similar demands in other states.

"Please do not link the issue of creation of separate states (in other parts) with that of Telangana. It creates misunderstanding in Andhra Pradesh," Alvi had said noting that it was a "sensitive" matter.

The discussions with senior ministers also came a day before Home Ministry's a meeting on issues relating to the safety and security of women in the backdrop of the Delhi gangrape case.

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