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Congress constitutes committee to hear concerns over Telangana

New Delhi, Aug. 7 (ANI): The Congress Party has constituted a four member committee headed by Defence Minister A.K. Antony to hear the concerns arising over the decision to form a separate state of Telengana.

The other members of the committee are Congress leaders Dr. M. Veerappa Moily, Digvijay Singh and Ahmed Patel.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi today approved the constitution of this committee amid protests by some party leaders against formation of separate statehood of Telangana.

Seven Union Ministers from Andhra Pradesh headed by Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju met the Congress President yesterday evening to discuss the issue and raised the demand that Hyderabad be retained as permanent common capital of the two Telugu speaking states on the line of Chandigarh.

Expressing concern over the ongoing protests following the nod for the formation of a separate Telangana state, a delegation of Members of Parliament from Andhra Pradesh also met Finance Minister P. Chidambaram yesterday to bring to his notice the feeling of insecurity in the people and ensure that fairness prevails.

Pallam Raju told the media yesterday that unfortunately the passions are still running very high in the regions of Andhra and Rayalseema subsequent to the decision by the Central Working Committee.

“And a mood of unfairness still pervades and people are agitating and there is a lot of insecurity especially statements being made by Mr. Chandrasekhara Rao are adding to the insecurity. And this is the unfortunate situation prevailing where the employees from other two regions are feeling highly insecure; students are feeling that opportunity is being denied to them since all the educational institutions and all the companies that reflect opportunity are situated in and around Hyderabad,” he added.

Pallam Raju further said there is a feeling of insecurity in the people who are from the other regions and are living around Hyderabad.

“And these are genuine concerns and people are agitating all over Andhra Pradesh and there is a sense of denial and we hope that a sense of fairness would prevail and these concerns should be addressed. And this is exactly what we have come to represent to the Finance Minister, who as the Home Minister had dealt with the issue and is familiar with all the aspects of the state,” he added.

Pallam Raju and other Union Ministers from Andhra region had last week offered to quit in protest against the decision to form a separate Telangana state.

The Congress Party, however, asked them to stay on.

Protests over Telangana have brought the Andhra Pradesh virtually to a standstill. Employees from the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema areas, which are opposed to the creation of Telangana, have also been protesting against a reported comment by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader K Chandrasekhara Rao that ‘employees from Seemandhra and Rayalaseema should go back to their regions’.

Nearly 1,500 employees have been boycotting work since Saturday.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy had written a letter to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, asking her not to divide the state. Reddy and his council of ministers have been away from work since last week when the ruling Congress Party announced the creation of Telangana as India’s 29th state.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has said that the process for the formation of the new state of Telangana would take about five to six months as per constitutional norms.

“The Congress Working Committee (CWC) has passed a resolution and further procedure will be done according to the Constitution of India. Telangana will be formed by following all the procedures and it would take five to six months,” he said.

He also added that Telangana was being formed because it was the oldest issue and the people of that region have been agitating and demanding the formation of a separate state since 1956. (ANI)