GoM set up to carve out Telangana, report within six weeks

GoM set up to carve out Telangana, report within six weeks

The Group of Ministers (GoM) set up to finalise the modalities of creating a separate Telangana state will finalise its report within six weeks to enable the government to table a bill in Parliament during the winter session.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Finance Minister P Chidambaram will be among the 10 ministers in the group, while the name of Defence A K Antony, who had been speculated to head the GoM, is not on the list. The GoM, which will also have Law Minister Kapil Sibal a members, will deliberate on the contentious issues of sharing of assets and river water as well as determining the boundaries of Telangana and the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh with reference to electoral constituencies, judicial and statutory bodies and other administrative units.

The other members of the GoM will be HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju, Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath, Road Transport and Highways Minister Oscar Fernandes, Minister of State for Power (independent charge) Jyotiraditya Scindia, Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat, Minister of state for Personnel V Narayanasamy and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

However, Raju has announced his decision to quit the Cabinet on the Telangana issue. If his resignation is accepted, the government will have to find a new member for the GoM. Antony’s name was reportedly avoided as he was heading the panel looking into the grievances of the people from Seemandhra. The GoM will discuss the Antony committee report on it.

As protests spread in the Seemandhra region, Shinde sought to assuage the feelings of people and Union ministers from the region who have quit.

“They are our colleagues. We will see that they remain in the Cabinet. They have expressed their concern, and we will have to take them into confidence; we will try our level best. After all, bifurcation of a state take places, such feelings are there. No one can avoid this. We will have to console them,” he said.

Shinde said the Congress was not looking for any political advantage with the decision, adding that it was a commitment made by the party and they have fulfilled it.

It has been speculated that the Congress' motive behind heeding the 60-year-old demand was reaping electoral benefits.

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