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Cong makes up mind on Telangana

New Delhi, July 26: The Congress high command today conveyed to the Andhra Pradesh leadership that the state would be bifurcated soon to create a separate Telangana.

Though the formal announcement would be made early next month, sources revealed that the most unambiguous indication of the bifurcation of the state came today.

Party general secretary Digvijaya Singh today met Andhra chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, his deputy Damodar Rajanarasimha and PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana separately at the Congress war-room and asked them to move to the next stage instead of quibbling over the sagacity of creating a new state.

Sources revealed that these leaders were told to prepare an action plan to maximise the gains in both Telangana and Andhra regions. The Congress core committee, which met in the evening at the Prime Minister’s residence, also discussed the issue.

Sources said the modalities of creating a new state were being worked out and the core committee discussed the draft that would be cleared by the Congress Working Committee in the next few days.

The CWC may make a categorical demand for creation of a separate state and the government would follow it up with an announcement in Parliament when the monsoon session begins on August 5. There is a possibility of an all-party meeting too as the Congress wants proper processes to be followed as several such meetings had taken place in the past to evolve a consensus.

The state leaders were still confused about the exact plan of bifurcation and some wondered whether the new state would be called Telangana or Hyderabad. There is a talk of another major decision of declaring the Kapu caste as OBC in Andhra.

The powerful Kapu community is OBC in Telangana region but upper caste in Andhra. The Congress wants to stir the electoral pot by this decision though there may be a strong backlash as Kapus are landlords in Andhra region and wield enormous clout.

While the Congress is confident of managing Telangana by aligning or merging with important forces in the region, it has to curtail the dominance of the Telugu Desam and Jagan Mohan Reddy’s influence in coastal and Rayalseema areas.

Hyderabad may continue to be the capital of both the states for 10 years.

After meeting the Andhra leaders today, Digvijaya Singh said: “The process of consultation is over. And the time to take a decision has come.”

Leaders belonging to both pro and anti-Telangana factions are in the capital to build pressure on the central leadership — Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and even President Pranab Mukherjee are still opposed to the decision.

The home ministry has its own reasons to go slow, with the possibility of major eruptions for Vidarbha, Gorkhaland and Bodoland states.

The Prime Minister’s misgivings have been created by the security and intelligence agencies.