M A I N   N E W S

Green light for 29th state Telangana
* UPA, CWC endorse creation of a separate state out of Andhra
* Hyderabad to be joint capital for 10 years
* Process to be completed in four months
Aditi Tandon/TNS

New Delhi, July 30
Telangana is all set to become the 29th state of India after the Congress today accepted the 57-year-old demand of the people of the region. The party insisted it had conceded to the demand in deference to the sentiments of its seekers and not on account of any political expediency. The process of creation of the new state will take four to five months.

The Telangana state, to be carved out of existing Andhra Pradesh, will have 10 districts. Hyderabad will be the joint capital of Telangana and the rest of Andhra for 10 years till Andhra is assisted by the Centre to build a capital of its own.

The decision was announced late evening today by Ajay Makan, Head, Communications, Congress, after an endorsement to this effect came from UPA allies at a meeting at PM’s residence followed by a quick meeting of the Congress Working Committee, the party’s highest decision-making body, chaired by UPA chief Sonia Gandhi. The meeting was attended by the PM and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi among others.

The CWC passed a resolution requesting “the Central Government to take steps in accordance with the Constitution of India to form a separate state of Telangana and to establish within a definite time frame an institute mechanism to address concerns of the people of the regions of Andhra, Rayalseema on matters related to but not limited to the sharing of river water, generation and distribution of electricity, safety and security of all residents of the three regions and the guarantee of their fundamental rights.”

Importantly, to placate the anti-Telangana lobbies within the Congress, the CWC resolution acknowledged that the decision to form a separate state of Telangana “had not been an easy one” and appealed to “all Congressmen and women and to all Telegu-speaking people and Andhra residents to extend their fullest cooperation so that the resolution can be implemented in letter and spirit.”

Congress general secretary in charge of the state, Digvijay Singh, said: “It was a very difficult decision to take and it has been taken after the widest possible consultations.” Responding to queries on what the Congress strategy would be in case its anti-Telangana leaders resigned, he said, “This decision had to be taken.”

In the morning, Union Ministers MM Pallam Raju, JD Seelam, D Purandeshwari and Panabaka Laxmi met Digvijay Singh. “We came to express our apprehension about the consequences of the formation of Telangana,” said Raju after the meeting.

Andhra CM Kiran Kumar Reddy, along with his deputy Damodar Rajnarsimhan, met the PM and Sonia. He refuted reports of his likely resignation given his opposition to the division of Andhra Pradesh.

With the long-awaited nod coming from the Congress today, the party is hoping to neutralise the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (hitherto the face of pro-Telangana movement) politically in the state. Digvijay was quick to remind TRS chief KC Rao today of his promise to merge with the Congress in case Telangana state is granted. “We will favourably view the merger and will await a reaction of the TRS on this count,” Digvijay said.

On whether two districts of Rayalseema (Anantpur and Kurnool) would be merged with Telangana, he said it had been decided to keep these districts out of Telangana for the time being. The Group of Ministers, which the Cabinet will now set up to look at the modalities of forming Telangana state, can consider the demand, he said.

Asked what would happen to the demands for smaller state such as Bodoland, Gorkhaland, Vidarbha among others, Digvijay said it was unfair to compare these demands with that of Telangana. He also took a swipe at the BJP saying the NDA was opposed to Telangana. “The Telangana movement has a long history. The first State Reorganisation Commission had referred to it. In 2001, the CWC sent a resolution to the NDA to set up a second SRC to look into the Telangana demand.

the T-factfile

  • The predominantly backward Telangana region comprises 10 districts of Andhra Pradesh’s 23, including the IT hub of Hyderabad
  • Once a Naxal stronghold, Telangana is bordered by Maharashtra to the north and north-west, Karnataka to the west and Chhattisgarh to the north-east
  • The region sends 119 members to the 294-member Andhra Assembly and also accounts for 17 of 42 Lok Sabha seats from Andhra Pradesh

120 days away

The exercise is proposed to be completed in roughly four months. Here’s the step-wise movement:

  • Andhra Assembly to pass a resolution, Union Home Ministry will then submit a Cabinet note
  • After Cabinet’s OK, a group of ministers will go into economic aspects
  • Home Min. submits Cabinet note including all recommendations
  • Home Min note through PM goes to President requesting him to refer the Bill to the State legislature
  • Law Ministry to vet the Bill with recommendations
  • After passage by both Houses of Parliament, Bill goes to President for his assent





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