Seeking to allay concerns of Seemandhra, the government on Thursday said it has no intention to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh at the cost of one region and would do needful for overall prosperity of the residual state.
Introducing the Telangana Bill in Rajya Sabha, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the decision to create Telangana was not an easy one and it has been taken after the widest possible consultations and after taking into account all the factors.
“It is not our intention that the bifurcation should take place at the cost of one region or the existing state,” he said in his statement laid in the House.
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The Home Minister said the issue of bifurcating Andhra Pradesh would get resolved in a manner that ensures peace and goodwill and progress and prosperity among all the sections of both the successor states.
“We want to ensure that the economy of the successor state of Andhra Pradesh should continue to grow… The central government shall also provide a special development package for Rayalaseema and north coastal districts of the successor state of Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2014 also contains the Centre’s firm commitment to execute the Polavaram project as a national project, by obtaining all necessary clearances including ensuring full rehabilitation and resettlement.
“I wish to reiterate what I said in the Lok Sabha – a financial package will be given to Seemaandhra. I would also assure the House that a Special Cell will be created immediately in the Planning Commission under the Deputy Chairman to address the developmental needs of the successor state of Andhra Pradesh in their totality and also ensure adequate financing for fulfilling them,” he said.
The Home Minister said the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2014 seeks to meet the democratic aspirations of the people of Telangana region by reorganising the existing state of Andhra Pradesh into two separate states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
“I would like to reassure the members of this House that we have tried our best to accommodate the concerns and interest of all the stakeholders,” he said.
The Bill considers all aspects of governance for both the residual state and necessary supplemental and incidental provisions relating to representation in Parliament and in state legislatures, distribution of revenues, apportionment of assets and liabilities, management and development of water resources, power and natural resources, ensuring peace and harmony and development needs of backward regions and other matters.
Highlighting the historical background of the demand for a separate Telangana, Shinde said the movement for a separate state of Telangana has a long and chequered history.
“It may be recalled that this region, within the existing state of Andhra Pradesh, had a distinct political and cultural identity. There have been movements for a separate state in both the Telangana region as well in the rest of Andhra which reached a peak in the late ’60s and early ’70s, which were resolved for the time being through discussions and agreements,” he said.
The Home Minister said that in the last few years, there has been a resurgence of social, economic and political aspirations of the people of Telangana region.
Shinde said he could say with justifiable pride that the central government had invited and received suggestions from the entire cross-section of Andhra Pradesh society and every suggestion had been evaluated and dealt with appropriately when the Bill was being prepared.
He said the draft Bill prepared was referred by the President to Andhra Pradesh legislature for giving their views on January 23. At the request of the state government, an extension of seven days was given and January 30 was fixed as the deadline.
“After receiving the views of the state legislature, we also received numerous suggestions from various quarters. These have been considered and examined by the government. Amendments formulated on the basis of these suggestions were brought before the Lok Sabha and the amended Bill is now placed before this august House for kind consideration,” he said.