Telangana state to be a reality

New entity to have 10 dists; Hyderabad to be joint capital

Telangana state to be a reality

 The decades’ old struggle of the people of Telangana for a separate state will be a reality soon as the Congress on Tuesday conceded their demand. The new state will be carved out of Andhra Pradesh.

Telangana, India’s 29th state, will take shape in the coming months with Hyderabad as the joint capital for 10 years. The Congress and the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) it leads at the Centre unanimously decided to form the new state which will have 10 districts—covering 17 Lok Sabha and 119 Assembly constituencies—of the existing Andhra Pradesh. The Union Cabinet will meet on Wednesday to take a formal decision on the issue.

The demand for the new state had witnessed a massive violence in the southern state over the past four years after the UPA announced on December 9, 2009, that it would create the new state. After widespread violence in Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra (together called Seemandhra), the other two regions of the state, the Centre backed out.

The decision on Telangana comes amid demands for creation of Gorkhaland, Vidarbha and Bodoland. The Congress did not rule out accepting these demands stating that the party working committee resolution favouring a Second States Reorganisation Commission “still stands”. The announcement that Hyderabad will be the joint capital may also invite protests from pro-Telangana agitators.

The announcement of carving out a separate Telangana was made by AICC general secretaries Ajay Maken and Digvijay Singh, in charge of party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, after an hour-long meeting of the Congress Working Committee chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

It appears that the Congress also managed to quell dissent in its Andhra Pradesh unit by prevailing over MPs, ministers and MLAs from the Seemandhra who had threatened to quit if the decision to divide the state was taken.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy had told the Congress leadership that it would be difficult for him to preside over the division of the state but fell in line later after some tough talk by senior leaders.

Similarly, many Union Ministers from the Seemandhra region who had expressed their displeasure to the Prime Minister about the decision to split the state also started singing a different tune on Tuesday.

“These are all rumours,” the chief minister said when asked about reports that he had expressed his desire to quit if Telangana was formed. HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju also dismissed reports of his quitting the Union Cabinet if a decision to form Telangana was taken.

The Centre would assist in building a new capital for the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh.

Asked about the possibility of Rayala-Telangana comprising two Rayalaseema districts—Anantpur and Kurnool—Digvijay Singh said the Group of Ministers would look into such demands, if any.

Andhra Pradesh was formed on April 1, 1956, by merging the Telangana region, which then was called the state of Hyderabad, and Andhra state which was carved out of the then Madras Presidency.

This alliance was never a smooth affair. The apprehensions expressed by the first States Reorganisation Commission came true with the people of Telangana alleging injustice by the rulers from Andhra.

Tuesday’s decision appears to set right the perceived injustice by the people from Andhra on those hailing from Telangana.

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