Telangana: Chacko says Congress not against statehood

Even as the Congress top brass has been holding a series of meetings to finalise the party's stand on the issue of statehood for Telangana, party spokesman P C Chacko Wednesday suggested that the Congress has already made up its mind to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.

Replying to queries at the party's press briefing, Chacko said the party's position on Telangana is well-known and it is "simply a question of time" when it is announced.

Asked if he meant that the Congress has made up its mind to carve out a separate state of Telangana, he replied: "Yes, that is what I am saying. You are right. We have taken a position. Our party position is very clear. But whatever decision has to be taken has to fulfil some constitutional obligations."

Chacko added, "The Congress is not against the formation of Telangana state. We are in the process of taking a decision but then formalities have to be completed."

The party spokesman stuck to his position as he faced a volley of questions seeking clarification on whether he was announcing the Congress's support for Telangana state.

While some senior Congress leaders maintained that the party was yet to take a final call and the spokesman may have jumped the gun, party sources confirmed that the leadership is veering towards the idea of a separate state of Telangana.

Chacko's remarks came even as Congress MPs from Telangana have been seeking an appointment with Congress president Sonia Gandhi to submit their resignation in a bid to force the party leadership to take a clear stand in favour of a separate state.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today refused to fix any fresh deadline for making any announcement on Telangana.

Five Cong MPs from Telangana quit party

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