New Delhi /Hyderabad: In a new twist to the ongoing developments on Telangana, Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday announced that a meeting would be convened of eight political parties in the state to hear what they had to say on how the GoM should introduce the Telangana Bill. He also announced that an all-party meeting would likely be held before November 10.
He said all the political parties should respond to the Terms of References for the GoM constituted for the specific purpose, before November 5.
Delhi meet puts TD in a fix
The Union government which is in the process of preparing the Telangana Bill has constituted sub-groups and committees to look into various aspects of the issue. It has now decided to seek suggestions from political parties to deflect criticism that the government is proceeding unilaterally and is not involving others. An all-party meeting was held on December 28, 2012, by the Union home minister.
The decision to convene another all-party meeting was arrived at during the two-hour-long unscheduled Congress Core Committee meeting on Wednesday, where the Telangana issue was one of the issues discussed.
The decision to hear the other parties was made in order to get the parties to declare their positions as they often change their stand on the contentious issue. It will also allow the Congress to take fresh commitments from them on implementing the Telangana decision.
Genuine issues concerning all regions must be discussed first, insisted the Opposition parties, which included the BJP, which has committed itself to bifurcation.
In fact, the main Opposition party, the Telugu Desam, had suggested convening of an all-party meet by the Centre to discuss the issues so that “equal justice” is done to all regions.
Among the eight political parties, the Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, CPI, BJP, and the Telugu Desam are for bifurcation of the state. The CPM is committed to a united Andhra Pradesh. The MIM has conditional support for Telangana, though primarily it is against the division. The YSR Congress which has been demanding equal justice for quite some time, suddenly changed its stand and is now declaring it wants a unified state.
In fact, CPI state secretary K. Narayana led delegation to home minister on Wednesday to demand convening an all-party meeting.
The decision to convene the all-party meeting at this stage is intended to fix the TD. Its’ president N. Chandrababu Naidu has not changed the party stand on bifurcation so far. He has been demanding that the government must talk to all parties about how it is going to address the problems arising out of bifurcation. He has also said that if the political parties are not to be invited, then the government could invite the Joint Action Committee leaders of both the regions (Telangana and Seemandhra) to settle the issues before the actual bifurcation takes place.
With the latest move, the TD will have to tread cautiously, as it has itself de-manded such a meeting.
According to a senior YSRC leader, its president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy will be writing to the Union home minister in next few days stating the party is committed only for United AP as such it will not be a party in the bifurcation process.
“It is easy for us to escape the latest trap of the Congress by singing United AP stand, but will be difficult for TD as to how they are going to react on this,” he said.
Meanwhile reacting to the home minister’s announcement, Telangana Telugu Desam Legislators Forum Convener Erraballi Dayakar Rao said there is no need to attend the all-party meet again as the party has already informed its pro-Telangana stand in the last meeting.