New Delhi: The 65-year-old dream has finally become a reality and Telangana is all set to be 29th state of India. The ruling Congress reluctantly agrees to create a new state of Telangana by dividing India's 4th largest state Andhra Pradesh. After years of uncertainty and political maneuvering, Telangana is just a few steps closer to reality.
"It is resolved to request the Central government to make steps in accordance with the Constitution to form a separate state of Telangana ......within a definite timeframe," said a resolution of the Congress Working Committee, the highest policy-making body of the party, after over an hour-long meeting.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said, "The problems the people of Seemandhra will face by having a common capital with Telangana have been kept in mind while taking this decision. We will keep all these issues in mind when the time comes to draw up the legislation required for a separate state."
The Congress which is accused of fast forwarding Telangana keeping the Lok Sabha elections in mind tried to take all credit and hog all the limelight. Earlier on Tuesday, the UPA partners met to formally endorse the division of Andhra Pradesh. It was followed by a Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting chaired by Sonia Gandhi. The hour-long meeting gave its green signal to a new state.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which has been in the forefront of Telangana movement, welcomed the decision, but it was very cautious. However, TRS supporters broke into celebration as soon as the news of Congress giving the green signal for Telangana came out.
TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao said that his party is fine with Hyderabad being the joint capital. "Certainly I am happy; it's wishes of the people. Now bill has to be finally passed. We are happy. Fine with Hyderabad as joint capital of both state," Rao said.
The announcement was received with a sense of loss by the people and politicians of Seemandhra and some parts of Andhra Pradesh also witnessed sporadic protests. The Bill proposing Telanagna may not be introduced in the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
The 10 districts of Telangana region will be a part of the new state and Hyderabad will be a joint capital with Seemandhra for the next 10 years. The 10 districts in Telangana are Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Nalgonda, Hyderabad, Mahbubnagar, Rangareddy, Medak, Nizamabad. The 13 districts of Seemandhra are Srikakulum, Vizianagaram, Vishakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, Cuddapah, Chittoor, Ananthapur, Kurnool. Out of 42 Lok Sabha seats and 294 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradehs, Telangana is likely to have 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 Assembly seats.
The Congress has also assured Seemandhra that its concerns will be addressed.
But, the real concern is Seemandhra's reluctance to cede state capital Hyderabad to Telangana. The TRS which had earlier promised to merge the party with the Congress is also miffed by the attitude of the Congress and eagerness to claim all the credit.
Hyderabad falls within the geographical boundaries of Telangana and Seeemandhra will face a very peculiar situation as it capital will be far away from its boundaries.
TRS leader KT Ramarao said that it is impractical to keep Hyderabad as capital of Andhra Pradesh as will not have geographical connect with the rest of state after Telangana's creation. "The CWC clearing Telangana is a welcome decision. We will wait for the Bill to be passed in Parliament. Hyderabad can be an interim capital," said Rao.
The Congress Working Committee unanimously passed a resolution for creation of Telangana state. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy left for Hyderabad soon after the Congress Working Committee decision in favour of Telangana.