Cong sings different tune, says Telangana not on UPA's agenda

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Telangana protest
New Delhi, May 18: Congress today said the issue of separate Telangana does not form part of the UPA's national agenda and it only concerned the state government - remarks which may cause consternation in Andhra Pradesh.

"The issue does not form party of the national agenda of UPA. It definitely does not form part ... It concerns the state government", party spokesman PC Chacko told reporters at the AICC briefing.

Chacko's remarks came in response to questions when a decision on the long delayed issue of Telangana is expected.

Telangana is a sensitive issue in Andhra Pradesh where all parties are divided on regional lines in the matter.

In January this year, Chacko as Congress spokesman had spoken differently.

"Congress is for Telangana. It is only an issue of time. A decision has to be taken ... it has to have a constitutional basis. That (process) has to be completed now," he had said days after the January 28 deadline set by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for a decision on the issue had lapsed.

Proponents of a separate Telangana state feel that the agreements, plans, and assurances from the legislature and Lok Sabha over the last fifty years have not been honoured, and as a consequence Telangana has remained neglected, exploited, and backward.

They allege that the experiment of Andhra Pradesh to remain as one state has proven to be a futile exercise and that separation is the best solution.

On the issue of removal of tainted Ministers from Andhra Pradesh, Chacko was ambivalent.

There has been mounting pressure on the party high command to drop the tainted ministers.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had met Congress President Sonia Gandhi yesterday.

Gandhi later also held consultations with party general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad who is in charge of party affairs in state.

Home Minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy and Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao have been named as accused by CBI in the Jagan Mohan Reddy's disproportionate assets case.

Three other ministers have also received Supreme Court notices in the same case.


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