Telangana a step closer to reality

GoM okays T-Bill with minor changes

Telangana a step closer to reality

The Centre on Tuesday moved a step closer to the creation of the Telangana state, with a group of ministers (GoM) approving minor changes to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, which was rejected by the state Assembly last week.

The Union Cabinet will take up the bifurcation issue at a meeting on Thursday.

A special economic package, with substantial additional funds for the construction of a new capital for the Seemandhra region, will be part of the bill.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the government would bring the Telangana bill before Parliament when the winter session would resume on Wednesday.

At an all-party meeting on Tuesday, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen  MP Asaduddin Owaisi said he would move two constitutional amendments to the bill in Parliament, opposing moves to hand over law and order in Hyderabad to the governor and a separate high court for Seemandhra.

Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Digvijay Singh held meetings with MPs from both Telangana and Seemandhra regions to hear their views on the bill. The Seemandhra MPs, who had given a notice for moving a no-confidence motion against the United Progressive Alliance government, were also present. 

It is learnt that the Congress may suspend Seemandhra MPs from Parliament if they continue to stall House proceedings. There was high drama with Telugu Desam Party MLAs from Andhra Pradesh falling at the feet of Ramesh, a member of the GoM on Telangana, pleading with him to stall the bifurcation of the state. Ramesh had to be rescued by security personnel. 

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who also reached Delhi to make a last-ditch effort to stall the bill, said he would join protests against the creation of Telangana at Jantar Mantar here on Wednesday. Seemandhra ministers, besides Andhra Pradesh MLAs and MLCs, are expected to take part in the protests.

Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Raja Narasimha and other Telangana supporters announced a day-long agitation at Rajghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, demanding speedy passage of the bill.

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