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Congress panel discusses Telangana committee terms

New Delhi, Feb 10 (Calcutta Tube) The Congress party’s core committee met at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence and discussed the proposed terms of reference for the Justice Srikrishna committee on the Telangana statehood issue.

The meeting was attended by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, political secretary to the Congress president Ahmed Patel as well as senior cabinet ministers like Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

According to a Congress source, ‘Terms of reference of the Telagana committee were discussed.’

The government has constituted a five-member committee, with Justice B.N. Srikrishna as its chairman and former home secretary V.K. Duggal as member secretary, but its terms of reference have not yet been decided.

Sources categorically denied that the Congress core group discussed the issue of increase in price of petrol and diesel, after recommendations of the Kirit Parikh Committee.

Congress allies Trinamool Congress and the DMK have opposed hike in fuel prices, saying common people had already been affected by increase in prices of essential commodities.

Earlier Wednesday, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: ‘A lot of what media is saying is speculation. Sometimes increases may be unavoidable, but they have to be demonstrably unavoidable, and if they are unavoidable then it should be bare minimum.’

The Kirit Parikh Committee, which gave its report last week, suggested that petrol and diesel prices could be hiked by Rs.3-4 per litre to reduce under-recovery of oil marketing companies. It also suggested hiking price of kerosene by Rs.6 per litre and of cooking gas Rs.100 per cylinder.

— Indo-Asian News Service

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