New Delhi: The United Progressive Alliance is set to bite the bullet on Telangana statehood soon. The Congress Core group will meet on Friday and is likely to finalise its Telangana plan.
Sources have told CNN-IBN that the Congress is keen to announce a decision on Telangana before the Monsoon Session of Parliament. CNN-IBN has learned that the Congress leadership is in favour of a separate state without Hyderabad.
The Congress Core group is likely to consider many options including keeping Hyderabad as a Union Territory. Sources say the Congress will also consider the option of an autonomous state council.
The Congress is likely to announce its decision only after consulting state leaders. Congress leaders like Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad fear resurgence of Naxalism after the Telangana announcement, say sources.
Earlier this month, Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh said that a decision on Telangana is in its final stages. Digvijaya Singh visited Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy in Hyderabad and asked him to prepare for both options - bifurcation or a united Andhra.
Congress leaders from Telangana had exuded confidence that the separate Telangana state would soon be a reality. In a show of strength earlier this month, Congress leaders held a public meeting amidst the intensified efforts by the party's central leaders to find a solution to the contentious issue.
The meeting urged the party leadership to take a decision on granting separate statehood to the region without any further delay. Senior leaders including those who met party president Sonia Gandhi a few days ago, claimed that the party would soon deliver the separate state.
The Telangana tangle
Currently Andhra Pradesh has 23 districts. The proposed Telangana state will have 10 districts while the rest of Andhra will have 13 districts (including 9 coastal districts and 4 districts of the Rayalaseema).
Seemandhra is the remaining area that includes coastal districts including Visakhapatnam.
The districts in Telangana will include Hyderabad, Adilabad, Khammam, Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Nalgonda, Nizamabad, Rangareddy and Warangal. The state will have an area of 1.14 lakh sq km and had a population of 3.52 crore as per the 2011 census, which amounts for 41 per cent of the Andhra state population.
The bone of contention: Hyderabad
- Hyderabad, with a population of 70 lakh, has always been the centre of Telangana
- Seemandhra does not want to give up its right over Hyderabad
- Telangana residents say it is non-negotiable
- Telangana was the Centre of Nizams state of Hyderabad