Rosaiah meets PM ahead of Tuesday’s Telangana talks


New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior members of the union cabinet Monday, a day ahead of the union government holding talks with eight political parties on the Telangana statehood issue.

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After his arrival in the capital, Rosaiah met Law Minister M. Veerapa Moily, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Defence Minister A.K. Antony. He later went to the Prime Minister’s House and was joined by the union ministers.

The chief minister said that during his meeting with Chidambaram he discussed his role at Tuesday’s talks.

Asked if the talks will help solve the divisions over creation of Telangana, Rosaiah said he was not in Delhi for any solution. “I am attending the meeting as chief minister,” he said.

The Congress, the Telugu Desam Party, the TRS, the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India-Marxist, the Praja Rajyam Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen are to take part in Tuesday’s talks with the central government.

Rosaiah said he had invited the prime minister for laying the foundation stone of a joint venture electrical equipment project at Mannavaram in Chittoor district. He was at the Prime Minister’s House for over two hours and is believed to have discussed the political polarisation in the state over Telangana statehood.

Congress sources said that in his meeting with Mukherjee, Rosaiah apprised him of the financial losses suffered by the state due to prolonged agitation in various regions of the state and sought financial assistance.

The Congress has refused to clarify its position ahead of the talks. Party spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the meeting was being held “to elicit views for a consensus”.

“This is a process. It (tomorrow’s meeting) is neither the beginning nor the end (of the process),” he said, adding that it will be wrong to specify a time-frame for evolving a consensus.

Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, who arrived in the capital Sunday for talks with the government, met CPI leader A.B. Bardhan.

Rao said Sunday he will meet Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad and other political leaders to seek their support for a bill in parliament on a separate statehood to Telangana.

The other two regions of the state — Rayalaseema and Andhra — are bitterly opposed to any division of the state to carve out Telangana state, comprising 10 districts including capital Hyderabad.

Life in Rayalaseema and Andhra ground to a halt Monday as the shutdown called by various groups opposing Telangana evoked total response.

Pro-Telangana factions of political parties and other groups have called for a shutdown Tuesday in Andhra Pradesh.