Telangana state likely to be announced today

Govt looks at May deadline for creation of new state,Rayalaseema districts to be left out for now

Written by D K Singh | New Delhi | Published: July 30, 2013 2:12:55 am

The ruling Congress is set to announce its decision to support the division of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday,although the new state of Telangana is likely to come into existence only around May next year.

Related: BJP mounts pressure on govt

While the Centre was earlier exploring the option of creating “Rayala-Telangana” by incorporating Anantapur and Kurnool districts,the idea has been shelved “for now”,it was reliably learnt. Hyderabad will be the capital of the new state,but it will serve as a joint capital until Andhra Pradesh develops its own new capital. Full Coverage: Fight for Telangana

These decisions are likely to be announced after the meetings of the UPA Coordination Committee and the Congress Working Committee on Tuesday.

Keeping in mind the reservations of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and some other stakeholders on the inclusion of Anantapur and Kurnool districts in the new state,it has been decided that the announcement on the creation of Telangana will only list 10 districts. Sources,however,said the issue of incorporating the other two districts could be taken up for consideration later.

That the Congress leadership is exploring the option of “Rayala-Telangana” was evident last Friday when,after emerging from the Congress core group meeting on the issue,senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad called up Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM) to seek his views on the inclusion of the two districts.

While the process of creation of a new state will take time,the UPA leadership is looking at a May deadline — after the assembly elections are held in the state.

According to the procedure,after the Centre clears the division,a resolution will be moved in the state Assembly. Sources said the resolution “does not have to be passed” by the Assembly. The Union cabinet will consider the issue,after which a Group of Ministers will be constituted to look into sharing of assets and liabilities between the two states,as well as water-sharing. When all the steps are completed,the Reorganisation Bill will come up in parliament for passage.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi was learnt to have decided to fulfill the decades-old demand for Telangana,despite reservations expressed by senior party leaders and government functionaries about the fallout on similar demands for Gorkhaland and Bodoland and the revival of Naxalism in the Telangana region. Senior party leaders as well as former allies like Owaisi were also of the view that the creation of Telangana would help the BJP gain a foothold and grow in the region.

At the last Congress core group meeting,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was learnt to have urged the party leadership to go ahead with the formation of Telangana state. The Congress high command’s decision to overrule all objections is said to be driven by an assessment that if the demand is not met,the party may suffer losses in the region which has 17 Lok Sabha seats. Given that the YSR Congress led by Jaganmohan Reddy has made a big dent in the Congress votebank in the state and reports that the TDP is regaining its lost ground,the Congress leadership is looking to salvage its position in a politically crucial state where the party won 33 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in 2009.

Meanwhile,Congress sources said many party MPs from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions are threatening to resign if Telangana is created. Even Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy is reported to be upset and unwilling to preside over the bifurcation of the state. Sources,however,asserted that the party leadership is “capable of dealing with” any threats of resignation.

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