The cabinet on Thursday cleared the original proposal for the creation of a separate Telangana state comprising 10 districts of Andhra Pradesh and put an end to the confusion that two more districts could be added to the new state.
The cabinet decision came after a series of meetings by a Group of Ministers (GoM) setup by the Prime Minister to decide on the highly controversial issue.
The GoM, headed by home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, had contemplated creation of Rayalatelangana by adding Anantapur and Kurnool districts of the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh to the proposed state.
However, differences between members of the GoM and stiff opposition by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and even senior Congress ministers from Andhra Pradesh, led to the proposal being finally shelved.
After the cabinet meeting, Shinde said the government will now send the draft bill for reorganization of Andhra Pradesh to the President “in a day or two.”
The President will then send this draft bill to the Andhra Pradesh assembly for giving its views on the subject.
On the contentious issue of Hyderabad, Shinde said it will be the joint capital of both states for 10 years and an expert committee will be set-up within 45 to decide the new capital for Andhra Pradesh.
Though Shinde said the government is keen to bring the bill to parliament during the winter session, but given the lengthy procedure required to be completed before the two houses can take it up, it appears that either the session will be extended or the parliament will meet in January to clear the bill for the creation of 29th state in the country.
Jagan calls for bandh
While Telangana leaders are celebrating, Seema-Andhra leaders are reacting angrily to the centre’s nod to the Telangana bill.
YSR Congress president YS Jaganmohan Reddy has called for Seema-Andhra bandh on Friday.
“The decision is solely for the purpose of votes and seats. It is regardless of the concerns expressed by 75 percent of the public,” Reddy said in a statement.
Full Coverage: The Telangana tangle
Hindustan Times conducted a poll on October 10, 2013 asking readers if it was right to announce the creation of Telangana by splitting Andhra Pradesh. Here is what they had to say:
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