Cabinet may pass Telangana today, Seemandhra up in arms

Cabinet may pass Telangana today, Seemandhra up in arms

A draft resolution for carving a separate Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh is likely to come up at the union cabinet meeting in the national capital Thursday evening.

The home ministry has drafted a resolution for the cabinet's consideration in accordance with the July 30 decision of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) for the formation of Telangana state.

Congress sources in Hyderabad said the draft resolution was included in the cabinet agenda. The new state will comprise 10 districts, including Hyderabad. In keeping with the CWC decision, the resolution has proposed Hyderabad as the common capital of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for 10 years.

Ignoring the protests of leaders from Seemandhra or the combined Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions, who wanted the state to be kept united, the government has decided to go ahead with the state's division.

It remains to be seen how three cabinet ministers from Seemandhra react to the resolution. Kavuri Sambasiva Rao and Pallam Raju are opposed to the division of the state while Kishore Chandra Deo had demanded the government should address concerns of all people. S. Jaipal Reddy is the only cabinet minister from Telangana and he is a strong supporter for formation of a separate state.

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, who is in charge of the party affairs in Andhra Pradesh, told reporters in Delhi Thursday that the process of bifurcation would begin with the adoption of resolution by the cabinet. The resolution would then be sent to the president with a recommendation to refer it to Andhra Pradesh assembly.

Reiterating that the CWC took a decision after consultations with all political parties, Digvijaya Singh appealed to Congress leaders from all regions to cooperate and abide by the decision as they had assured him during the consultation process.

Digvijaya Singh said the cabinet would constitute a group of ministers to look into various issues arising out of bifurcation.

On the Seemandhra leaders' demand that the Antony Committee visit the state to hear the views of people before any step is taken, he said the committee was not constituted to reverse the CWC decision. He said the committee was looking into various issues raised by them and it would submit its report to the group of ministers.

The Congress party set up a four-member committee headed by Defence Minister A.K. Antony in August to look into the concerns of people. The leaders from both Seemandhra and Telangana have met the committee and presented their views.

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