Congress meet on Telangana heightens anxiety

Hyderabad, July 10 (IANS) With two days to go for the Congress core committee's crucial meeting on Telangana, anxiety is growing in all three regions of Andhra Pradesh.

The chief minister, deputy chief minister and state Congress chief intensified consultations with party leaders from all regions to finalise their reports to the core committee.

At the same time, a group fighting to keep the state united has called for a shutdown Friday in Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra regions).

Samaikya Andhra or United Andhra students Joint Action Committee (JAC) has called for the shutdown on the day when the core committee is likely to meet in Delhi to decide on the long-pending demand for a Telangana state.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, his deputy Damodar Rajanarasimha and state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana will submit their reports to the Congress leadership.

Party general secretary Digvijaya Singh, who is in charge of party affairs, had last week asked the three leaders to submit their roadmap on the strategy to be adopted by the party and the government if the decision is taken either way.

With the process for taking a decision entering the final stage, Digvijaya Singh submitted his report to party president Sonia Gandhi.

The chief minister and state Congress chief come from Rayalaseema and Andhra regions respectively, and both are believed to be against the state's division.

Telangana comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad. Rayalaseema comprises four districts and Andhra region has the nine coastal districts.

The deputy chief minister hails from Telangana and is a strong supporter of the demand for a separate state.

The three leaders are likely to leave for Delhi Thursday to make their presentations before the core committee.

The chief minister will be meeting ministers from Seemandhra and Telangana Wednesday evening to elicit their views. Satyanarayana Wednesday met leaders from the three regions.

Ministers from Seemandhra including Anam Ramnarayan Reddy, S. Sailajanath and senior leader Gade Venkat Reddy called on both the chief minister and the state Congress chief separately to oppose moves to split the state.

Sailajanth, who leads the group of ministers opposing a Telangana state, made it clear that nothing short of united Andhra Pradesh would be acceptable to them.

Satyanarayana told reporters that as family elders they would advise those seeking separate Telangana state to keep the state united. He, however, said all leaders should abide by the decision of the central leadership.

Protests in Seemandhra continued over the possible decision by the Congress to divide the state.

Infrastructure Minister G. Srinivasa Rao led a rally by students in Visakhapatnam. He announced that a public meeting will be held in Anantapur July 16 to press the demand for keeping the state united.

Byreddy Rajasekhara Reddy, who is heading a group for protecting the interests of Rayalaseema region, led a protest in Kurnool.

Meanwhile, Congress MPs from Telangana urged the party leaders from Seemandhra to agree to a peaceful separation. The MPs exuded confidence that the leadership would soon take a favourable decision.

Madhu Yaskhi, one of the MPs, assured the people of Seemandhra living in Hyderabad that they would have no problem even after the formation of a separate Telangana state.

Former state Congress chief D. Srinivas claimed that the leadership is committed to the Dec 9, 2009 statement. He hoped that core committee would take a decision favourable for formation of Telangana state.

In Delhi, union minister D. Purandeswari met Digvijaya Singh to convey her views. Hailing from Andhra, she wants the state united.