Hyderabad was the bone of contention at a meeting Union ministers from Seemandhra and Telangana had with the Group of Ministers in New Delhi on Monday on bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh while another central minister from the state suggested Visakhapatnam as Seemandhra's capital.
Union minister for tribal welfare V Kishore Chandra Deo, representing Araku Lok Sabha constituency in Seemandhra, opposed any move to make Hyderabad as the "common capital" and urged the GoM to make Visakapatanam the capital of residual Andhra Pradesh.
"What is the purpose of making Hyderabad a common capital after the division? I have made a oral representation with the GoM that Vishakapatnam should be made the capital of Seemandhra region," Deo said.
Deo underlined that the coastal city has good road connectivity with neighbouring states, apart from housing an airport and a seaport.
"Capital cities are not chosen because they are situated in the central part of the state. In fact, capital cities of Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and Thiruvanathapuram are not located in the centre of the respective states," he noted.
Interestingly, Deo's signature did not figure in the (memorandum) note presented to the GoM on Monday, though eight other Union ministers from Seemandhra region have signed the note which highlighted the reasons against bifurcating Andhra Pradesh.
Asked about the reason, Deo said that he refused to sign the note as he felt the issues were being raked up.
The Union ministers from Seemandhra sought Union Territory status for Hyderabad.
"Hyderabad should be made a Union Territory on the lines of Puducherry," minister of state for finance JD Seelam told reporters after meeting the GoM.
"One-third of the population in Hyderabad is from Seemandhra region. No city, either in Seemandhra or Telangana region, has grown like Hyderabad. Hyderabad is the proud capital of Telugus," he said.
Union ministers MM Pallam Raju, Kavuri Samba Siva Rao, K Chiranjeevi, D Purandeswari, Panabaka Lakshmi, Killi Krupa Rani and Kotla Jayasurya Prakash Reddy were the part of the delegation representating Seemandhra region.
However, their counterparts from Telangana region said the new state will be "incomplete" without Hyderabad.
Briefing reporters, Union science and technology minister S Jaipal Reddy said Hyderabad is part and parcel of Telangana.
Similar views were expressed by minister of state for road transport Sarve Satyanarayana who said Hyderabad can remain capital for 10 years till residual Andhra Pradesh develops its own capital.
The ministers from Telangana region, led by Reddy, said Bhadrachalam revenue sub-division should be an integral part of Telangana and not be given to residual Andhra Pradesh.
Referring to Article 371D of the Constitution, Reddy said it should be continued as employees on both sides share a similar a view on the issue.
He claimed there was no need for any tribunal on sharing of Godavari river water but one was needed for river Krishna.
Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Porika Balram Naik was also part of the delegation representing Telangana region.