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Nov 28, 2013 at 08:56am IST

GoM finalises Telangana draft Bill, Hyderabad still a sticking point

New Delhi: After four long hours of meeting on Wednesday, the Group of Ministers finalised their report on Telangana. But sources say that Hyderabad still remains a sticking point with Telangana leaders making it clear that a union territory status for Hyderabad is unacceptable.

Sources say that the GoM has authorised the Home Ministry to present the draft bill before the next Cabinet meet. Sources also say that the Home Ministry will try and iron out the problem areas in the coming days before the draft is presented to the Cabinet for approval.

After a four-hour marathon meeting, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, who heads the GoM, said they have discussed various issues concerning the bifurcation and distribution of assets between the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. "Some discussions are still left. I cannot say when the GoM will submit the report to Cabinet," he told reporters.

GoM finalises Telangana draft Bill, Hyderabad still a sticking point

Telangana leaders have made it clear that a union territory status for Hyderabad is unacceptable.

On Tuesday, Shinde had said the the ministerial panel was trying to find ways to not to hurt any region of the state while creating Telangana. The GoM had held a series of meetings with leaders of eight political parties, Union ministers from Andhra Pradesh and Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and officials in the past one month and they gave their opinion on distribution of assets and other issues between the new state and the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh.

Shinde had already said that the Telangana Bill would be tabled in the Winter Session of Parliament. Sources said following an instruction from Congress high command, the GoM has speeded up the whole process.

Once the Cabinet clears the proposal, it will go to the President who in turn will refer it to Andhra Pradesh Assembly for approval. However, the Assembly resolution is not binding under the Constitution.

The Union Cabinet then can consider the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill and with Union Cabinet's approval, it will send it to the President before being tabled in Parliament.

The Winter Session of Parliament commences on December 5 and will conclude on December 20.

(With additional information from PTI)

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