Chidambaram to meet Andhra leaders to discuss Telangana issue

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New Delhi, Jan 5 (ANI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram will on Tuesday meet leaders of eight political parties of Andhra Pradesh to discuss and resolve the vexed Telangana issue. The meeting is being held nearly a month after the Centre announced the process for the formation of the Telangana state.

Tuesday's meeting will see participation of the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Telegu Desam Party (TDP), the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), the Praja Rajyam, the CPI (M), CPI and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM).

Union Home Secretary G K Pillai is also expected to participate in the meeting.

With differences on the Telangana issue still continuing between the Telangana and non-Telangana leaders, the meeting is likely to be a tempestuous affair.

Meanwhile, in the Telangana region, protests and shutdowns have been orgainised igniting the demands for statehood to Telangana. Similar shutdowns have been called in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions opposing the bifurcation of the state.

Eighty-eight trains have been cancelled including 39 passenger trains, as authorities fear that the railway property will be damaged if protesters try to stop trains.

Schools, colleges, banks, ATMs, hotels, theatres, shops and offices remained closed on Monday.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah is expected to hold discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister to discuss the current crisis.

TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, who arrived here last night to attend the meeting, has made it clear that he will put up a strong case for Telangana statehood issue.

PRP chief Chiranjeevi has said that he will raise his voice for a united Andhra.

The Congress and TDP are under immense pressure from their Telangana and non-Telangana leaders who have pushed them to stick to their earlier stands and the statements pronounced on December 9 and December 23 respectively.

The Telangana crisis began with TRS chief Rao sitting on a fast unto death on November 29, 2009, demanding a separate Telangana state. (ANI)

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