Te­lan­gana closer to re­al­ity

CWC, UPA en­dorse state cre­ation; Hyderabad to be the joint cap­i­tal

The Political and Business Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

BRUSH­ING aside op­po­si­tion af­ter dither­ing for nearly four years, the Congress and the UPA coali­tion to­day unan­i­mously en­dorsed cre­ation of a sep­a­rate Te­lan­gana state from out of Andhra Pradesh.

"It is re­solved to re­quest the Cen­tral Govern­ment to make steps in ac­cor­dance with the Con­sti­tu­tion to form a sep­a­rate state of Te­lan­gana ......Within a def­i­nite time­frame," said a res­o­lu­tion of the Congress Work­ing Com­mit­tee, the high­est pol­i­cy­mak­ing body of the party, af­ter over an hour-long meet­ing.

The Congress also de­cided to rec­om­mend to the Govern­ment that Hyderabad be made the joint cap­i­tal of the newly-pro­posed state and the other re­gions-Ray­alaseema and Coastal Andhrafor a pe­riod of 10 years.

The mo­men­tous de­ci­sions by the CWC and the UPA came af­ter hec­tic con­sul­ta­tions for the last over a week on cre­ation of the 29th state of the coun­try that will have a ge­o­graph­i­cal area of 10 of the 23 dis­tricts of un­di­vided Andhra Pradesh.

To­day's de­ci­sion also brings to fruition the an­nounce­ment made by the then Home Min­is­ter P Chi­dambaram on De­cem­ber 9, 2009 for cre­ation of Te­lan­gana.

Con­trary to spec­u­la­tion that the new state could be named Ray­ala Te­lan­gana, in­clud­ing a cou­ple of dis­tricts of Ray­alaseema, the dis­tricts that will be part of the new state will be Adilabad, Karim­na­gar, Kham­mam, Ma­ha­boob­na­gar, Medak, Nal­go­nda, Nizam­abad, Ran­gareddy and Waran­gal be­sides Hyderabad.

At the mo­ment the idea is to have 10 dis­tricts in Te­lan­gana but it will be for the Group of Min­is­ters to con­sider de­mands for in­clu­sion of more ar­eas, AICC Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Digvi­jay Singh, in-charge of Andhra Pradesh af­fairs in Congress, told a press con­fer­ence af­ter the CWC meet­ing.

Out of 42 Lok Sabha seats and 294 Assem­bly seats in Andhra Pradehs, Te­lan­gana is likely to have 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 Assem­bly seats.

At the CWC meet­ing, the Prime Min­is­ter said the de­ci­sion to cre­ate a sep­a­rate Te­lan­gana would help en­tire Andhra re­gion.

Gandhi, who is also the UPA chair­per­son, gave a his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive on the is­sue to the CWC meet­ing in which Digvi­jay Singh moved the res­o­lu­tion. It was adopted unan­i­mously.

Like last week end, when in­di­ca­tions emerged that the Congress was veer­ing to­wards for­ma­tion of Te­lan­gana, min­is­ters and MPs be­long­ing to the non-Te­lan­gana re­gions made last ditch ef­forts to con­vince Congress pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi and Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh to have a re­think on the is­sue.

Andhra state, the first en­tity formed on lin­guis­tic ba­sis, was cre­ated in 1953 from out of the erst­while Madras Pres­i­dency with Kurnool as the cap­i­tal. With the pass­ing of the States Re­or­gan­i­sa­tion Act, 1956, there was a merger of Hyderabad state and Andhra state to be called Andhra Pradesh from Novem­ber 1, 1956. Andhra Pradesh now has a pop­u­la­tion of over 8.5 crore.

The 2009 an­nounce­ment, taken at the height of an in­def­i­nite fast by TRS leader K Chan­drashekhar Rao, had ig­nited street protests in the non-Te­lan­gana re­gions and

AS the Congress moves to bite the Te­lan­gana bul­let, sup­port­ers of united Andhra Pradesh to­day stepped up protests against any di­vi­sion of the state.

Stu­dents, em­ploy­ees and other sup­port­ers of united Andhra Pradesh staged protests in Ray­alaseema and coastal Andhra re­gions amid in­di­ca­tions that the rul­ing Congress would take a de­ci­sion in favour of sep­a­rate Te­lan­gana.

The stu­dents' Joint Ac­tion Com­mit­tee (JAC), which or­gan­ised a march in the port town of Visakha­p­at­nam, de­manded that leg­is­la­tors from the non-Te­lan­gana re­gions re­sign from their posts to mount pres­sure on the Cen­tre.

The pro­test­ers held a rally in Eluru, the Lok Sabha con­stituency of Union Min­is­ter K S Rao, in sup­port of the united Andhra cause.

In Kurnool, lawyers boy­cotted courts and held a demon­stra­tion. Kurnool is rep­re­sented in Lok Sabha by Union Min­is­ter of State for Rail­ways K Jaya­suryaprakash Reddy.

Stu­dents from var­i­ous ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tutes took out a rally in Vi­jayawada to protest pos­si­ble bi­fur­ca­tion of AP.

Over 3,000 stu­dents, in­clud­ing girls, from var­i­ous col­leges, un­der Joint Ac­tion Com­mit­tee ban­ner, staged a 'rasta roko' near the Indira Gandhi Mu­nic­i­pal Sta­dium in Vi­jayawada.

The stu­dents' JAC lead­ers said the Union Govern­ment should not con­cede the de­mand of bi­fur­cat­ing the state made by some po­lit­i­cal lead­ers for their "self­ish mo­tive" at the cost of crores of Tel­ugu peo­ple.

They de­manded that peo­ple's rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all po­lit­i­cal par­ties re­sign from their posts.

Anum­ber of pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tor em­ploy­ees from var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions, trade union lead­ers and ad­vo­cates joined the rally.

Mean­while, Congress MLAs from Ray­alaseema would meet to­mor­row to dis­cuss their fu­ture course of ac­tion. "Yes, Congress MLAs from Ray­alaseema (are meet­ing)," state Mi­nor Ir­ri­ga­tion Min­is­ter T G Venkatesh told PTI in Hyderabad.

To a query, he said all is­sues in­clud­ing whether the lead­ers from Ray­alaseema and coastal Andhra would quit their posts on the Te­lan­gana is­sue, would be dis­cussed at the meet.

Mean­while, main Op­po­si­tion TDP sought to know why the Cen­tre did not ta­ble the Srikr­ishna Com­mit­tee's re­port on Te­lan­gana in Par­lia­ment for dis­cus­sion.

Andhra Pradesh CM N Ki­ran Kumar Reddy leaves af­ter the UPA meet­ing, in New Delhi – PTI photo

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