Andhra governor calls on Sonia Gandhi, Shinde

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi/Hyderabad, Oct 23 (IANS) With the process for formation of a separate Telangana state entering a crucial phase, Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan held a series of meeting with central leaders in the national capital Wednesday.

Summoned by the Centre for consultations before the efforts to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh are intensified, Narasimhan held separate meetings with United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

Narasimhan first met Chidambaram who is a member of the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to work out modalities for formation of the Telangana state. During the meeting, which lasted for 30 minutes, the governor is believed to have discussed various issues that may arise post-bifurcation.

The governor later called on the UPA chairperson and briefed her on the latest situation in the state in the wake of the decision to carve Telangana state. He is learnt to have presented a report on the bifurcation issue.

Narasimhan later met Shinde and discussed the law and order situation and the status of Hyderabad. According to sources, they discussed measures that need to be taken to maintain law and order before taking further steps on the formation of Telangana.

The governor is also likely to meet Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

The meetings also assumed significance in the wake of the two meetings the GoM has held so far and the direction given to all departments to prepare the reports before the GoM's next meeting Nov 7.

The GoM, which received hundreds of suggestions from people, is also reportedly discussing a suggestion by Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) leaders to declare Hyderabad a union territory.

Another suggestion which is reportedly under the GoM's consideration is according special status to Hyderabad with the Centre keeping with itself the law and order portfolio and a couple of other crucial key departments to address the concerns of the Seemandhra people.

This is the governor's first meeting in Delhi after the Congress Working Committee's July 30 decision to carve a Telangana state.