On Thursday, the Union cabinet will take a final call on the controversial plan to expand the boundary of the proposed Telangana state to include two Rayalseema districts too, a move staunchly opposed by Telangana politicians.
The Group of Ministers set up to draft the bill to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh finalised its report for the cabinet late on Wednesday. Once the cabinet clears the bill, it will be sent to the Andhra assembly for its views and then introduced in Parliament. It is expected that a sitting of Parliament would be convened in January to consider this bill if it misses the December deadline.
There was no formal word if the panel – that was divided over the merger of Kurnool and Anantpur districts with Telangana at its meeting on Tuesday – had cleared the greater Telangana plan.
Emerging from the hour-long GoM meeting, Shinde only told reporters that the GoM had “completed the process and the Cabinet will discuss the recommendations tomorrow”.
Sources suggested there were differences within the GoM on the inclusion of the two Rayalseema districts but the panel could eventually tilt towards a 12-district greater Telangana. Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh was working on the draft bill with officials of the home and law ministries till late in the evening.
Irrespective of the GoM conclusions, sources said extensive deliberations will be held at the cabinet meeting with central ministers from both sides determined to make their voice heard.
Tribal minister V Kishore Chandra Deo has already shot of a letter to PM Manmohan Singh protesting the proposed merger. Other Congress leaders, however, call the move a masterstroke that would contain the YSR Congress.