The central government's decision to convene an all-party meeting on Telangana issue later this month has triggered war of words between the two major political parties in Andhra Pradesh with the Congress rejecting the TDP's demand to spell out its stand.
The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Friday asked the ruling Congress to spell out its stand before the all-party meeting convened by union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde Dec 28. The Congress, however, said it would take a decision only after hearing the opinion of other parties.
State Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana said since the Congress has to take a decision on the issue, it would do so only after hearing the opinion of other parties. He recalled that even in the all-party meeting held on Dec 7, 2009, Congress had not taken a stand.
He was reacting to TDP's demand that Congress should first make its stand clear. The main opposition party said it would announce its stand after Congress takes a position on the demand for separate statehood to Telangana region.
With Shinde still not making clear as to how many representatives each party can send, there is confusion among the ranks of the two major parties. The leadership of both the parties are under pressure from their leaders in Seemandhra (Rayalseema and Andhra regions) to send two representatives - one each from Telangana and Seemandhra.
However, the leaders of both the parties from Telangana want the central government to call only one representative from each party so that they can take a clear stand on the issue.
"We are demanding that only one representative be invited from each party," said state minister D. Sridhar Babu.
TDP Telangana forum leader E. Dayakar Rao also demanded that each party be allowed to send only one representative so that the all-party meeting this time can achieve a breakthrough. He pointed out that in the earlier all-party meeting, two representatives from each party were divided along the regional lines.
YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), which is emerging as the third major political force in the state, has also not taken a clear stand on the issue. Its leaders said their party would spell out its stand during the meet.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Communist Party of India (CPI) are demanding separate Telangana state while Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) want Andhra Pradesh to remain united.
Meanwhile, Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) convenor M. Kodandaram said the proposed meet would make no progress unless the Congress takes a clear stand on the issue.
JAC, which is spearheading Telangana movement, termed as a conspiracy the demand from the state government to postpone the meeting in view of World Telugu Conference scheduled on the same day in Tirupati.
Kodandaram told reporters that there is no link between the meetings and the demand to postpone all-party meet is a conspiracy to drag on the Telangana issue.