'Shinde called all-party meet on Telangana to know views afresh'
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has convened all-party meeting on Telangana on Dec 28 as he has recently taken over and wants to know the views of the parties on the issue, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
Azad, the union health minister and incharge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, recalled that the central governnment earlier held two all-party meetings on the issue.
"Since Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde recently took over, he has called the meeting to know the views afresh," Azad told reporters here Thursday.
The central leader's statement may come as a disappointment for a section of Congress MPs from Telangana, who are expecting a positive decision by the central government for separate statehood to Telangana region, which comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad.
Bowing to the pressure from seven Congress MPs, the central government Wednesday agreed to call the all-party meeting.
Azad said a decision was yet to be taken on the number of representatives each party can send to the meet. He hoped that all parties will participate and express their views frankly.
"There are divergent views over Telangana. Some want Telangana state, some want both Telangana and Andhra and there also others who want the state to remain united," he said.
In the all-party meetings held in the past, the parties had taken diametrically opposite stands.
Azad also held talks with former chief of state Congress D. Srinivas and state minister K. Jana Reddy, both hailing from Telangana.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana met Azad and demanded that the proposed all-party meet on Telangana be either advanced or postponed as its date is clashing with the World Telugu Conference at Tirupati.