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Congress backtracks on Telangana deadline

By:  Tupaki Desk   |   23 Jan 2013 5:03 PM GMT
Going back on its word to announce a solution to the Telangana problem by Jan 28, the Congress party Wednesday said "one month does not mean 30 days".

Dashing hopes of Telangana leaders, including those from its own ranks who were expecting a decision to carve out a Telangana state, the ruling party said a decision on the vexatious issue was not likely to be made by Jan 28.

"I don't think we should see it in a tight compartment. One month does not mean one month or 30 days. Tomorrow sometimes does not mean tomorrow morning," Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

"One week does not mean seven days. Sometime it can be two weeks. This is a very important issue which we have to solve. We have been trying hard to resolve it as early as possible," said Azad, who is in charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh.

Azad's statement came after he and Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vaylar Ravi and Lok Sabha member Ahmed Patel met Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Azad clarified that after the Dec 28 all-party meeting on Telangana, Shinde had only stated that the government would try to find a solution in a month.

The development came even as Telangana leaders, including state ministers and MPs, were camping in the national capital to lobby with the central leadership to keep its word and take a positive decision by Jan 28.

Some Congress leaders from Telangana said they were shocked by Azad's statement while others hoped that a decision would come anytime after Jan 28. Manda Jagannadham, a Congress MP from the region, said Azad's remarks would give credence to allegations that Congress always betrayed the cause of Telangana.

Earlier, after camping in the national capital for two days to lobby against division of the state, Congress leaders of Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra regions) had met President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress leaders to impress upon them the need to keep the state united.