‘Telangana signed and sealed but it takes time to deliver’

The Centre on Monday made it clear it was taking forward the process of creation of a Telangana State but at the same time, assured that all related issues would be effectively addressed.

Responding to a nearly four-hour debate on the issue in the Rajya Sabha, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, however, was unwilling to set any time-frame for the Telangana state but said processes would be fast-tracked. “The creation of states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh has taken two years from the time the first official announcement was made. I don’t think it will take that much time in the case of Telangana,” Chidambaram, deputising for Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, said.

His statement is being read in two ways: one, the Centre has once again made it clear a decision to create Telangana State has been taken; two, it has indicated to Seemandhra that the government will follow all processes and hear out its grievances.

According to Chidambaram, the present stage is also a bit premature for a full-fledged discussion on the contours of a Telangana State, status of Hyderabad or development of Andhra-Rayalaseema. “Let the Cabinet first formulate a comprehensive note dealing with issues pertaining to water, power, guarantee of fundamental rights etc. There will then be scope for a detailed discussion and based on the suggestions that come in, changes could be made,” he said.

Rebutting the charge made during the course of the debate by the BJP and other parties that the Centre had announced the decision in haste, he said it was far from truth. “All-party meetings were held twice and every single party expressed its view. Then, we have with us an exhaustive report submitted by the Srikrishna Committee. If at all, it was the Congress which was the last to take a call,” he pointed out.

Chidambaram said if at all there was one issue on which extensive consultations were held within the Congress and outside, it was on Telangana. Unfortunatley, it was such an issue on which “you are dammed if you take a decision and you are also dammed if you don’t.”

Venkaiah Naidu of BJP said it was the Congress chief minister of AP who voiced concerns and his party was saying that it was imperative to take care of the interests of Andhra-Rayalaseema regions.

Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley sought to know whether in the light of the various issues that need to be addressed even according to the Centre, could it be considered that a Telangana state is being created. Chidambaram’s replied: “The government announced its decision to create a Telangana state. The processes are going to take time but we will fast-track them.”

Source: The New Indian Express

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