Seemandhra Congress leaders to discuss strategy Jan 17

Hyderabad, Jan 15 (IANS) Opposing any move to divide Andhra Pradesh, Congress leaders from Andhra and Rayalseema regions will meet here on Jan 17 to chalk out their strategy.

Ministers and legislators from Seemandhra, as the two regions are usually referred to, will attend the meeting, which has been called after two ministers from Telangana claimed to have received indications that the central government would announce bifurcation of the state by the month-end.

State minister Shailajanath, who comes from Rayalaseema, told reporters here Tuesday that the meeting would decide as to how to convey their views to the central leadership.

"We have already opposed any move to divide the state. We will discuss and decide what to do next," he said.

G. Srinivasa Rao, a minister from coastal Andhra, has already threatened to quit if the central government agrees to carve out separate Telangana state.

Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy said he would also attend the meeting as it was aimed at chalking out a strategy to keep Andhra Pradesh united.

All India Congress Committee secretary P. Sudhakar Reddy found fault with a section of leaders from Telangana for publicly airing their views. He advised all leaders to have patience till the central government takes a decision on the issue.

Two ministers from Telangana had said Monday that they received indications that Telangana state would soon become a reality. One of them even said Hyderabad would be the join capital of the state for 10 to 12 years.

Seemandhra leaders from other political parties also voiced concern over the ministers' statement.

Gurunath Reddy, a legislator from YSR Congress party, said they were ready to lay down even their lives to keep Andhra Pradesh united.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shine had said after Dec 28 all-party meeting on Telangana that the central government would take a decision on the issue within a month.

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