Fearing Maoists, UPA defers T-decision

Fear of Telangana becoming a Maoist-dominated state if carved out from Andhra Pradesh is most likely dithering the UPA government from taking a decision to create another geographical entity within the country, Union Home Minister Shushilkumar Shinde indicated on Monday.

At his maiden monthly press conference since he became home minister about six weeks ago, Shinde said many delegations from Andhra Pradesh had met him demanding a separate Telangana. “I have heard them carefully. It is a long pending issue. There are different types of opinions. We have to see all of them. We have to handle carefully. Those states like Bihar and Madhya Pradesh that were divided to carve smaller states saw increased Maoist problems. This is what was told to me in the meeting,” Shinde remarked to a question on creation of a new state in South India.

Already nine states, including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha, are witnessing scaled up Maoist problems that had forced the prime minister to dub left wing extremism as the biggest internal security threat.

Justice Srikrishna Committee, in its report submitted to the MHA in January, had recommended six options on Telangana. It is, however, learnt that the report is believed to have a portion sourced through intelligence agency interaction that expresses similar apprehension of Telangana becoming another Naxal-infested state if chiseled out of Andhra Pradesh. That part of the report has not been made public so far, sources said.

For long public protests in Andhra Pradesh for a separate state of Telangana was suspected to have been aided by Naxal sympathisers, security agencies had said.

The home minister, however, claimed that the Telangana issue will be resolved by the UPA government but said no decision was taken to convene all party meeting on Telangana. His predecessor P Chidambaram had earlier said the government will call an all party meeting to know their views on the sensitive political issue.


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