New Delhi: The Congress Core Committe met here on Friday to deliberate on the ticklish Telangana issue on which party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad submitted a report amid indications that a decision on it will take some more time.
   
Amid mounting pressure from pro-Telangana groups whose agitation for a separate state continued for the 18th day on Friday, Congress' top brass, including Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh and party Chief Sonia Gandhi, met here.
   
This was the first core group meeting attended by Gandhi after her return earlier this month from the US where she underwent a surgery for an unspecified ailment.
   
Party sources said that a decision will take some more time as more consultations are necessary on the issue.
   
The meeting took place within hours of AICC General Secretary Azad presenting a report to Gandhi on the Telangana issue prepared after consultations with party MLAs and MPs from Andhra Pradesh.
   
Azad was among the special invitees at the Core Group meeting which has Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K Antony and Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Gandhi, as members.
   
Earlier, Chidambaram said that more time was needed. "He (Azad) has told them (MLAs and MPs) that allow a little time for the party to take a decision and the government to take a decision," the Home Minister said.
   
Congress is caught in a tricky situation in Andhra Pradesh with the Telangana region observing an indefinite bandh over the issue of separate statehood, a demand being opposed by Coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions of the state.

‘Hyderabad bandh’ hits normal life

The day-long `Hyderabad bandh' called by the Telangana political Joint Action Committee (JAC) on Friday as a part of the ongoing pro-Telangana agitation affected the normal life in the city badly, but passed off peacefully.

Shops and other business establishments were closed at many places. Schools and other education institutions had already declared holidays for the Dusshera.
    
With pro-Telangana employees of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) already participating in the ongoing 'sakala janula samme' (strike by all sections of people), the RTC buses remained off the roads.
   
 The APSRTC operated a total of 318 buses in the city -- 220 in Hyderabad and 98 in Secunderabad -- during the day, official sources said.
    
The usual heavy traffic on the city roads was missing. The pro-Telangana groups took out rallies.
    
Police had made elaborate security arrangement in view of the call for shutdown, and no major untoward incident was reported.
    
Saying that there would not be any shut-downs in the near future, TRS President K Chandrasekhara Rao had last night appealed to the people to make the bandh a success.
    
The TRS president and a delegation of the JAC left for Delhi in the evening, to meet Prime Minister and other top leaders and to press for an early and favourable decision on the separate statehood demand.
    
Telangana supporters continued agitation across Telangana as part of the ongoing general strike in the region that began on September 13.

(Agencies)