T-issue hinges on Rayalaseema

The fear over losing the geographical identity of Rayalaseema and the sacrifices by the people of the region who agreed to transfer capital status to Hyderabad during formation of Andhra Pradesh seems to have weighed in favour of a decision against splitting Rayalaseema.

The proposal was to merge Kurnool and Anantapur districts in Rayalaseema with Telangana so that the two new states will have 21 Lok Sabha seats and water supply to the two districts of Rayalaseema is assured.

The splitting of the Rayalaseema region was suggested to ensure that there is no future movement for a separate state and the YSR Congress, which has considerable clout in the region, will be limited to Andhra.

However, senior leaders from Telangana, Palvai Govardhan Reddy and Kunduru Jana Reddy, dropped enough indications that the Congress core committee is not keen on pursuing the proposal to create Rayala-Telangana in the wake of opposition from some quarters in both regions. Following the statement of AICC state in-charge Digvijay Singh and the core committee meeting, several feelers were sent home that the high command is contemplating creating Rayala-Telangana which will be called as state of Hyderabad and the other the state of Andhra.

Congress leaders from Telangana and the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) are not averse to the idea of merging the two districts with Telangana.

“We are not against merging of whole Rayalaseema with Telangana. We have made it clear that the state should remain united, but if they decide on dividing it, then a Rayala-Telangana should be created,” Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi said.

Eye on votes

However, the BJP, which feels there is a tie-up between the Congress and the MIM, says that the Majlis are eyeing the 12 per cent Muslim population in the Rayalaseema region.

“If a separate Telangana is inevitable, then Centre should grant Greater Rayalaseema that would include the whole of Nellore and Prakasam districts, besides Alampur and Gadwal constituencies in Mahbubnagar (now in Mahbubnagar of Telangana),” Minor Irrigation Minister T G Venkatesh said. 

The proposal was trashed by D K Aruna, who is from Mahbubnagar and minister for information and public relations.  So far, no Rayalaseema leader has endorsed the bifurcation of the state into Telangana and Andhra. Leaders such as T G Venkatesh, Byreddy Rajasekhar Reddy, M V Ramana Reddy and others clearly oppose the bifurcation.

“The people of Rayalaseema will not tolerate such designs,” M V Ramana Reddy, leader of Rayalaseema Vimochana Samiti and noted activist, said. Most of the leaders from the region prefer setting up of a second state reorganisation committee to look into the matter afresh.

Meanwhile, state DGP Dinesh Reddy was summoned to New Delhi. Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde held discussion over reports that there might be a surge in Maoist activities if the state is bifurcated.

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