Cabinet overrules GoM, clears Telangana with just 10 districts

Tags: News
A three-hour-long cabinet meeting on Thursday cleared the draft bill for the creation of Telangana, home minister Sushilkumar Shande announced.

The new state will have 10 districts as originally proposed (leaving the rest of Andhra Pradesh with 13 districts.)

The later move to create a Rayala Telangana state by including two more districts from the backward and dry Rayalaseema region was dropped after stiff resistance from the BJP, which indicated that its support to the bill would otherwise be “difficult.”

The common capital of Telangana and the remaining part of Andhra Pradesh (to be called Seemandhra) will be Hyderabad for a period not exceeding 10 years. The governor of Telangana will have a special responsibility of ensuring security of life, liberty and property of all those who reside in the common capital area. The governor may be assisted by two advisers to be appointed by the Centre.

A special status will be provided to both the states under Article 371D of the Constitution for equitable opportunities.

“We want the bill to be tabled in the current winter session of Parliament,” Shinde said.

The bill will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday with a request to make a reference to the Andhra Pradesh assembly to obtain its views, Shinde said.

A designated group of ministers on Telangana is understood to have expressed its preference for Rayala Telangana in its report, but the cabinet went with what the Congress working committee had originally cleared, a Telangana with 10 districts.

This cabinet decision to stick to the original proposal is interpreted in some quarters as the first sign that the ruling Congress is feeling the heat after the exit polls on Wednesday predicted a rout for the party in the just-concluded assembly elections. The results will be out on Sunday.

On the day some Congress leaders from Kurnool and Anantapur were believed to have been told that they should not to be too hopeful about Rayala Telangana. Creating a bigger Telangana would have incensed Seemandhra.

A day-long bandh was observed in the Telangana region in protest against the now aborted proposal to create Rayala Telangana. Normal life was affected; transport services came to a halt and shops and businesses and educational institutions were closed. The bandh was partial in Hyderabad.

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