GoM likely to go in for Rayala-Telangana

GoM likely to go in for Rayala-Telangana

The Group of Ministers on Telangana (GoM) is understood to have recommended redrawing of the proposed Telangana state to include two Rayalaseema districts of Anantapur and Kurnool.

The GoM on Wednesday night finalised its report and a draft bill on bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, which will be discussed by the Union Cabinet on Thursday evening.

However, there was no official word on it. When asked, two senior ministers, who are members of the GoM, refused to give any information. The Rayala-Telangana proposal has been vehemently opposed by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and even the Congress leaders.

“The Cabinet formed a GoM on October 3 and wanted it to give recommendations. We met several times and this was the final sitting. The  GoM recommendations will come up for discussions at the meeting of Union Cabinet on Thursday evening,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters.

A senior minister said there is “one report and one bill”, in an indication that the GoM has not given options of Telangana and Rayala-Telangana. The Cabinet will now deliberate whether to accept the “one” decision of GoM or not.

Sources said the GoM report runs into 25 pages while the draft bill is about 70 pages.

The GoM is also understood to have decided to give special status to both the states after the bifurcation.

The high-powered ministerial panel, headed by Shinde, began its 10th meeting at 8 pm amid demands and counter demands on the issue of separate statehood for Telangana region. The GoM met several times in the past but could not arrive at a conclusion.

 The meeting on Tuesday evening was supposed to finally bring the curtains down on the deliberations of the GoM but it called off the discussions after 90 minutes deciding to meet again on Thursday night.

As the GoM meeting was entering its final phase, the proposal for bringing two districts of Rayalseema and form Rayala-Telangana state was floated by a section but it met with strong opposition from several sections.

 Telangana Congress MP Ponnam Prabhakar urged his party's central leadership not to include two districts from Rayalaseema in the proposed new state in view of opposition from political parties.

“Don't include the two districts (Ananthapur and Kurnool). Do not say Rayala-Telangana. Please execute as per the earlier decision by UPA or CWC or Union cabinet,” he said.

 In Hyderabad, leaders from the Congress, YSR Congress and the TDP opposed the Centre's proposal to bifurcate the state and the division of Rayalaseema. “We strongly oppose the state's bifurcation proposal and particularly the division of Rayalaseema,” Congress MLA Adinarayana Reddy, YSR congress MLAs Srikanth Reddy and Amaranatha Reddy and TDP MLC Satish Reddy said in a joint statement.

 The BJP and the CPI also extended their support to a day-long Telangana shutdown called by the TRS on Thursday to oppose the reported proposal to carve out a Rayala-Telangana state.

The BJP-led NDA said in New Delhi that it would strongly demand that the Telangana Bill be brought in the winter session of Parliament and press for debates on issues like internal security, violence against women and subversion of constitutional bodies like JPC on 2G scam.

“The NDA wants that the Telangana Bill should be brought in this session of Parliament. However, we feel that the inclusion of two new districts in the proposed Telangana state is not ethical,” Deputy Leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.

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