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Need to address issues on Telangana: Chidambaram

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Need to address issues on Telangana: Chidambaram
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New Delhi: A number of substantive issues need to be addressed on the decision to carve out a separate Telangana state, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told parliament Monday.

He added that the Home Ministry would bring a comprehensive note to the Cabinet containing both substantive and procedural issues.

The BJP objected Chidambaram's statement and accused the Congress of "playing a double game" on Telangana.

"In the matter relating to the separate state of Telangana, the constitution of India lays down a procedure for formation of new states. Besides, a number of substantive matters have to be addressed with the formation of new state. These matters are under consideration of the government," Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha.

The statement came after several MPs demanded a statement from the government over Telangana. Chidambaram said the Home Ministry would "bring a comprehensive note for the Cabinet containing both substantive and procedural issues for the decision of the cabinet".

The issues, he said, "will include, but (will) not (be) limited to, sharing of river waters, generation and distribution of electricity, safety and security of all residents of all three regions, guarantee of fundamental rights of all residents etc".

He said a structured debate could be held in parliament once the cabinet takes a decision. "The government will welcome such a discussion at an appropriate time," Chidambaram said.

The statement came as both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were disrupted by anti-Telangana protests.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shahnawaz Hussain objected to Chidambaram's remarks.

"It is a very objectionable statement. No decision... only cabinet note being prepared," he said.

Hussain said the way Congress handled Telangana has created divisions between "Telangana and Andhra (Pradesh)".

He said Chidambaram had earlier gone back on the move to create a separate state of Telangana.

Hussain said the Congress had talked of Telangana statehood while Chidambaram appeared to be addressing people of other parts of Andhra Pradesh.

"It is a double game. They should have handled the situation properly," he said.

Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said the government had mishandled the Telangana issue.

"It is a serious issue. We need to understand feelings of both sides," Naidu said as MPs from the state's other two regions - coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalseema, known together as Seemandhra - protested against the formation of Telangana.

"I am saying this with a heavy heart... the government has mishandled the whole affair," he said.

BJP leaders said they supported the demand for Telangana but have not taken a decision on other demands for statehood.

A BJP leader said members of Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha had met party president Rajnath Singh over their demand for a separate state of Gorkhaland.

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