Srikrishna Committee report on Dec 31 to determine AP's fate

Though the recommendations of the five-member Committee, appointed by the government on February 3, will be submitting its report on December 31 after consultations with various political parties and stakeholders on the sensitive issue, the conclusions are unlikely to be made public the same day.

The Committee was appointed in the backdrop of the agitation for and against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, when the demand for creation of a separate Telangana state reached a feverish pitch late last year.

The Justice Srikrishna Committee was asked to examine, among other things, the situation in Andhra Pradesh with reference to the demand for a separate state of Telangana as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh.

Besides, it was mandated to review the developments in the state since its formation and their impact on the progress and development of the different regions of the state; to identify the key issues that must be addressed by consulting all sections of the society, especially the political parties and seek from the political parties and other organisations a range of solutions that would resolve the present situation and promote the welfare of the people.

It was also asked to identify the "optimal solutions" for this purpose and recommend a plan of action and a roadmap.

The last months of year 2009 saw turbulence caused primarily by separatists seeking Telangana state while early 2010 witnessed a spontaneous movement by people of Andhra and Rayalaseema regions opposing the state’s division.

Order was restored in the state to an extent only after the Srikrishna Committee was appointed to look into the statehood demand, a move seen as the Congress’ desperate gambit to undo the damage caused by its alleged inappropriate handling of the whole issue.

Though initially every political party reacted with scepticism to the Committee's constitution, the common people welcomed it with the hope that it will come out with lasting solution to the contentious statehood issue.

All political parties, barring the Bharatiya Janata Party, subsequently presented their case, for and against the division of the state, before the Committee besides all other stakeholders on the issue.

The Committee members – eminent and widely-respected in varied fields – toured almost every part of Andhra Pradesh in the last ten months, collected data from different sources, interacted with people at the grassroots level and drafted a two-volume report.

In doing so, they kept their promise of completing their task "within the set deadline."

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