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Telangana state likely to be announced today

Source : AGENCIES
Last Updated: Mon, Jul 29, 2013 20:28 hrs
​Best of the Week – Is Telangana to be or not to be?

Hyderabad: Taking a step forward, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on Tuesday may give a go-ahead to the creation of Telangana state, a decision that could trigger protests from within the party amidst reported threat of resignation by Chief Minister Kirankumar Reddy.

The CWC, the highest policy-making body of the Congress, is scheduled to meet at 1730 hours. Just before that the party, which is said to have made up its mind on the division of Andhra Pradesh, will consult UPA allies on the ticklish issue.



The high-level meetings are being called ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament beginning August 5, when a bill relating to formation of Telangana is required to be passed if a decision is taken.

AICC General Secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Digvijay Singh, who has been holding discussions with the state leaders, said a decision has to be taken in "national interest". He did not elaborate.

The Congress leadership has been having discussions on the issue with the state leaders and at the central level and has given enough indications of going in favour of Telangana.

The issues that appear to be dogging them are whether Telangana should consist of just 10 districts of the region or should include a couple of districts from Rayalaseema. Also, the issue of Hyderabad -- to be capital of Telangana or to be a joint capital -- has to be resolved.

One more issue could be whether to make Hyderabad a Union Territory for some years to prevent immediate problems.

Amidst these moves, Andhra Chief Minister, who hails from Rayalaseema region, is said to be strongly opposed to the division of the state and has made it clear to the leadership that he would not be a party to such a move.

CM Kirankumar Reddy is said to be toying with the idea of quitting the post if a decision is taken to split the state.

Strife in Congress over Telangana, Andhra leaders meet CM

Congress leaders from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, who are opposed to creation of Telangana, held a closed door meeting with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy here on Monday.

A source said that Reddy, who himself is opposed to the bifurcation, may consider resigning if the proposal goes through.

Ministers T G Venkatesh, Erasu Pratap Reddy, Dokka Manikya Varaprasad, Ganta Srinivasa Rao, MP Ananta Venkatarami Reddy and a few MLAs and MLCs held a meeting with the CM at the Secretariat this afternoon to discuss the emerging political scenario.

The Central Working Committee of the Congress is scheduled to meet in New Delhi tomorrow to take a final call on the contentious issue.

As he would leave for New Delhi on Tuesday, there was talk in the Secretariat on Monday that the Chief Minister could indeed put in his papers if the Congress decided to divide the state.

"That's a certainty," a minister said without going into details.

"No decision has been taken yet (by the high command). We hope they will not take an overnight decision," Venkatesh told reporters after the meeting.

"If (TDP chief) Chandrababu Naidu and (YSRC honorary president) Vijayamma give a single line letter that they are for a unified state, we will see that nothing happens," Venkatesh said.

He hastened to add that onus was more on Union Cabinet ministers and MPs from Andhra-Rayalaseema to prevent division of the state.

Venkatesh said all state ministers gave a letter to the high command stating they would not continue in their posts if a decision to divide the state was taken.

Congress has called a UPA meeting in an attempt to secure a stamp of approval of the constituents of the ruling alliance.

While NCP chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has already made a strong pitch for the formation of separate Telangana, another ally RLD leader and Civil Aviation Minister is a votary of smaller states and has been advocating for long the creation of Harit Pradesh out of districts of Western Uttar Pradesh, his home turf.

"No decision has been taken yet (by the high command). We hope they will not take an overnight decision," Venkatesh told reporters after the meeting.

"If (TDP chief) Chandrababu Naidu and (YSRC honorary president) Vijayamma give a single line letter that they are for a unified state, we will see that nothing happens," he said.

He hastened to add that onus was more on Union Cabinet ministers and MPs from Andhra-Rayalaseema to prevent division of the state.

Venkatesh said all state ministers gave a letter to the high command stating they would not continue in their posts if a decision to divide the state was taken.

"Our resignation is not an issue but keeping Andhra Pradesh united is. If at all the state is divide it will create new problems and demands. Already, the demand for Gorkhaland has started," he pointed out, referring to the 72-hour bandh call given in the region.

"Similar demands will come up in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Kashmir...," he added.

MLA Veera Siva Reddy and MLC Rudraraju Padma Raju wanted the Union ministers and MPs from Seemandhra region to resign forthwith to prevent bifurcation of AP.

Centre rushes 1,000 additional paramilitary men to Andhra
 
An additional 1,000 paramilitary personnel have been rushed to Andhra Pradesh by the Union Home Ministry to deal with any situation arising out of a decision on Telangana.

The additional forces, along with the existing 1,200 paramilitary personnel, are expected to be deployed in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, where protests may erupt if the Centre takes a decision in favour of bifurcating Andhra Pradesh for creation of Telangana state.

Sources said apart from the central forces, 200 personnel of Karnataka Armed Police and 100 personnel of Tamil Nadu Armed Police are stationed in Hyderabad and its adjoining areas to assist the state police in maintaining the law and order.

Besides, there are around 4,000 paramilitary personnel currently engaged in anti-Naxal operations in Andhra Pradesh.

Home Ministry officials are in regular touch with state government officials and have asked them to ensure peace in the state as the Centre is inching closer to a decision on Telangana.

Last week, Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary P K Mohanty and Director General of Police V Dinesh Reddy were summoned to the capital where Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Home Secretary Anil Goswami held an hour-long closed door meeting with them and reviewed the situation there.

Shinde and Goswami had assured the state government officials all possible central help to maintain peace in Andhra Pradesh.

Telangana issue creates fissures in YSR Congress Party too

The recent resignations of 16 YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) MLAs in support of a united Andhra Pradesh have not gone down well with its leaders in Telangana.

Former minister and a prominent party leader from Telangana, Konda Surekha, and her husband Konda Murali, have taken exception to the resignations of YSRCP MLAs.

The resignations were against the spirit of a resolution passed by the party, they said.

Surekha released an open letter addressed to party chief Jaganmohan Reddy here today, finding fault with the way the party is being run.

Telangana supporters to go ahead with Aug 1 sit-in

Telangana supporters on Monday said they would continue their struggle though a favourable statement is expected to come from the Centre on the separate statehood demand on Tuesday.

Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) Chairman M Kodandaram told reporters the panel would go ahead with its struggle till the demand is realised and "got legal status".

The JAC, comprising TRS, BJP and various people's organisations, would go ahead with its plan to organise a pro- Telangana dharna here on August 1. JAC is spearheading the Telangana statehood movement.

He said their demand is for creation of Telangana state comprising the present 10 districts in the region with Hyderabad as its capital.

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