New Delhi, July 12: A decision on the vexed issue of Telangana was deferred today with the Congress announcing that a final call in the matter will be taken by the party Working Committee. A two-hour-long meeting of the Congress Core Group headed by party Chief Sonia Gandhi with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi by her side deliberated deeply on the matter.
The meeting also saw Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kirankumar Reddy, PCC Chief Botsa Satyanarayana and Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha giving a presentation on the issue of Telangana. Only yesterday, AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh had maintained that a decision cannot be postponed "anymore".
After the meeting, Singh merely said today that the CWC will take a decision. He did not specify when the meeting of the apex policy-making body of the party is being called. "Congress party has held widest consultations with all political parties, with all leaders and finally the Core Group has now met to take a final view. Now, the Congress party shall call the CWC and will take a decision", Singh, who is in charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, told reporters.
While the Chief Minister, who is from Rayalseema region, refused to meet reporters after the core group meeting, the Deputy Chief Minister, who hails from Telangana, struck an optimistic note. Andhra Pradesh is divided on regional lines on the issue. "I am an optimist", Rajnarasimha said adding that "any major decision of the party is taken by the CWC and that is the standard position of the party".
"We are optimistic. We are hopeful. Ultimately any decision is taken by the party. We expect a decision very very soon", the Deputy Chief Minister said,but steered clear of questions on the essence of deliberations at the core group. State leaders claimed that a date for the CWC meeting could be announced as early as tomorrow.
Digvijay Singh had yesterday said that state leaders had been asked for a presentation on the political strategy for the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls next year, with "both options open"--status quo or creation of a separate state.
A central leader on condition of anonymity said that the central leadership gave a patient hearing to the state leaders at today's meeting and would now consider the way ahead, hinting thereby that it could take some more time for a decision.