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Cong Top Brass Meets On Telangana Issue

PTI 08 Jan 2010, 22:08:42 IST

Congress top brass on Friday evening deliberated on the issue of Telangana in the backdrop of government's move to constitute a mechanism for wide ranging consultations with various groups and stakeholders on the issue. 

Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily and Political Secretary to Congress President Ahmed Patel attended the brief meeting. 

This is the first meeting after Chidambaram held consultations with eight recognised political parties of Andhra Pradesh on the creation of a separate state. 

The Core Group took stock of the deliberations of the meeting Chidambaram had with leaders of political parties and his meetings with state leaders in the last two days. 

The party and the government are said to be weighing various pros and cons on the mechanism and the implications it would have on the dialogue process.

A host of issues, including the ticklish problem of capital Hyderabad and sharing of river waters, are likely to figure in a major way in the discussions on Telangana when the government constitutes a mechanism for the purpose. 

Once the government makes up its mind and chalks out its course of action after political clearance, these issues are likely to become the bone of contention in a protracted dialogue among stakeholders, reliable sources said. 

Apart from Hyderabad, the coveted capital of Andhra Pradesh, another major issue that is expected to come up for thorough discussions is the sharing of waters of both perennial Krishna and Godavari rivers.

Fears of downstream areas in coastal Andhra Pradesh being denied waters by a new Telangana state is one issue the Centre foresees as a problem they have to surmount in the negotiations, the sources said. 

Relocation of central government offices which are located in Telangana areas and sharing of state officials is expected to pose another problem, they said. 

Sources said the Centre would like to proceed cautiously on the issue because of the sensitivities involved on the both sides. PTI