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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

Ajit Singh welcomes UPA's decision to endorse formation of Telangana?

ANI  New Delhi, July 30, 2013
First Published: 19:36 IST(30/7/2013) | Last Updated: 19:37 IST(30/7/2013)

Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh on Tuesday welcomed the UPA Coordination Committee's decision to endorse the formation of a separate state of Telangana.

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"The UPA Coordination Committee had a meeting on the issue of Telangana and there was a unanimous decision in the favour of Telangana. The decision has been taken today," he told media in New Delhi on Tuesday.

A meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) is presently underway in the national capital to discuss the separate statehood issue.

The Union Cabinet is likely to meet on Thursday to take a final call on Telangana formation.

The Congress High Command is said to be inclined towards bifurcating Andhra Pradesh notwithstanding the opposition from within the party and its state leadership.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi earlier on Tuesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence after she held a meeting with senior party leaders, including Sushil Kumar Shinde, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Digvijay Singh and Ahmed Patel.

Congress leaders from Andhra Pradesh, who are against the bifurcation of the state, earlier met Digvijay Singh, who is the in-charge of party?s affairs in Andhra Pradesh.

Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) minister MM Pallam Raju, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, said leaders like him are worried about "long-term implications" of Tuesday's decision.

"I think the core committee has discussed the matter at length and we are all worried about it that whatever decision that they may make is going to have a long term implication in Andhra Pradesh and we are worried about that and that?s exactly what we have come to express our apprehension to the general secretary," he told mediapersons after meeting Digvijay Singh.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who is opposition to the creation of a separate state of Telangana, earlier in the day termed reports of his resignation to be rumors.

Reddy, who has reportedly been persuaded not to resign in protest against his party?s decision, will be meeting several party leaders in the national capital.

According to reports, Hyderabad is likely to be a Union Territory for five years and will act as joint capital of the two states to be created out of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

The Union Territory will be administered by a Lieutenant Governor. The Governor of Telangana state will be the ex-officio Lieutenant Governor of Hyderabad in these five years.

Congress MPs from Telangana have so far accused the Centre of following what they call a "one-step-forward-two-backward" approach when it comes to addressing their demand for a separate state.

The Centre's flip-flop over the issue began in December 2009 when the then home minister P Chidambaram promised the formation of a new state only to go back on it after a few days.

The issue was later pushed before a committee headed by justice BN Srikrishna. This panel did not come up with a tangible solution, but instead presented six options.

These included the creation of a Telangana Regional Council within Andhra, bifurcation of the state into Telangana with Hyderabad as the capital and Seemandhra with a new capital; bifurcation of the state into Seemandhra and Telangana after making Hyderabad a Union Territory; bifurcation of the state into Seemandhra and Telangana with enlarged Hyderabad metropolis as a Union Territory; bifurcation of the state into Rayala Telangana and Coastal Andhra; and maintenance of status quo.


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