Telangana will be 29th state
New Delhi, July 30, 2013 (PTI): 20:14 IST
Telangana will be the 29th state of India comprising 10 districts with plenty of water and some other natural resources in a backward region lacking development that was at the heart of the separate state demand.
As and when the state is formed, the jewel in the crown will always be the city of Hyderabad, which may for some time, at least 10 years to start with, be the joint capital for the rest of Andhra.
With a population of over 3.5 crore, the new state comprising mostly the areas of the princel Nizam state will have 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 Assembly seats.
When it joins the Indian Union, people of the region would hope that the new identity would help them overcome the challenges of poverty and backwardness which were at the roots of the separate state movement.
The demand for a separate identity for Telangana is virtually as old as the state of Andhra Pradesh, which came into existence in November 1956 through the States Reorganisation Act.
The Andhra Pradesh government website says: "Telangana agitation was started by the people of the region when they felt that Andhra leaders had flouted the Gentlemen's Agreement which facilitated the formation of Andhra Pradesh.
"In the beginning, the movement demanded the implementation of the safeguards agreed upon earlier, but later it wanted the separation of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh."
That the seat of government in Hyderabad has persistently ignored the needs of Telangana at the expense of the other regions of the state has been a constant grouse of the advocates of separate statehood.
The new Telangana state would comprise the 10 districts of Hyderabad, Medak, Adilabad, Khammam, Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda, Nizamabad, Rangareddy and Warangal.
Now, according to the Backward Regions Grant Fund 2009–10, 13 districts in Andhra Pradesh have been identied as being backward, of which nine are in Telangana.
Classified as a semi-arid region with a predominantly hot and dry climate, Telangana is not amongst the most fertile regions of the country.
But it does have its share of natural resources and notably contains 20 per cent of the country's coal deposits.
Among other natural resources are mica and bauxite along with some limestone reserves.
But given the lack of development, Telangana has served as a fertile ground for the Maoist insurgency to take root.
A clutch of leaders of the Naxalite movement hail from the region. Slain Maoist Kishanji, who was No.3 in the rebels' hierarchy, hailed from Karimnagar district.
As proponents of a separate Telangana claim, the carving out of a new state would give a fresh impetus for the people of the region to aspire for growth and development.
Especially with the inclusion of Hyderabad, Telangana would find itself in control of one of the primary centres of India's tech story.
Offices of major national and international corporates houses are present in Hyderabad, drawing people from across the country to the city.
Needless to say it is the loss of Hyderabad which would rankle most with 'Unified Andhra' supporters.
But the people of Telangana argue that the seat of the Nizams was always an integral part of their region.
The Telangana agitation, as they point out, was started by the people of the region who complained that "Andhra" leaders had flouted the "Gentlemen's Agreement" which had facilitated the formation of the state, in November 1956.
The feeling of betrayal was also implicit in the discontent, which spread among Telangana officials and the unemployed youth of the region, who felt they were being exploited by the people from the rest of the state who had flocked to the new capital.