Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Tuesday, 5 January 2010

No progress in talks over India's new Telangana state

Pro-Telangana protest
The debate over the new state has become increasingly acrimonious

Indian political parties meeting to discuss a "road map" for the proposed new state of Telangana have ended talks in Delhi without a breakthrough.

The eight parties issued a joint statement appealing for calm.

Telangana would be carved out of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh and there have been protests for and against it in recent weeks.

The Indian government announced the proposal in early December, but later said more consultations were needed.

'Appeal for peace'

Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram said Tuesday's talks had been "a good meeting and everybody expressed their views". More consultations would be held, he said.

Population of 35 million
Formed from 10 districts of Andhra Pradesh, including city of Hyderabad
Landlocked, predominantly agricultural area
One of the most under-developed regions in India
Culmination of 50-year campaign
More than 400 people died in 1969 crackdown

"It is quite clear that views of political parties are divided. I summed up their views and will take them to the prime minister and formulate a course of action," the NDTV channel quoted him as saying.

The leaders of the political parties who attended the meeting called for calm in Andhra Pradesh.

"It is our earnest appeal that peace, harmony and law and order should be maintained in the state," their statement said.

Correspondents say there are deep divisions within political parties over the Telangana issue and a consensus was not expected.

Last month India's Congress party-led government announced it would allow the creation of the new state irrespective of opposition. Congress is also in power in Andhra Pradesh.

The announcement prompted widespread protests in Andhra Pradesh.

Opponents of the move are unhappy about having the present state capital, Hyderabad, which is home to many major information technology and pharmaceutical companies, transferred to Telangana.

Demonstrators for and against the new state have blocked roads and railways in Andhra Pradesh, while many schools, shops, offices and hotels remained closed for a second day.

The final decision to create a new state lies with the Indian parliament, but the state assembly must pass a resolution approving the creation of Telangana. The state legislature is sharply divided on the issue.

Telangana would be carved out of northern districts of Andhra Pradesh and would have a population of about 35 million people

India currently has 28 states. The last three were formed in 2000.

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