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