New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared a parliamentary bill for creation of Telangana state having 10 districts.
Dropping a controversial move to add two districts of Rayalaseema to Telangana, which was opposed by various stakeholders, the cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, approved a draft reorganisation bill based on recommendations of Group of Ministers (GoM).
Also rejecting the demand of leaders of Seemandhra (combined Rayalseema and coastal Andhra regions) for making Hyderabad a union territory, it stuck to the earlier decision that the city would be a common capital for 10 years.
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill For Creation of Telangana will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee Friday or Saturday with a request to make a reference to the state’s legislature under Constitution’s Article 3, union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters after the three-hour long cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
That means a reported last-minute proposal to include two districts from the Rayalaseema region in the new state was dropped from the Bill. The proposal on Thursday provoked a total strike in the Telangana region, which comprises the Telugu-speaking portions of the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad. The new state would be home to 35 million of Andhra Pradesh’s 85 million people.
Telangana, a part of the erstwhile princely Hyderabad State, witnessed massive protests for separate statehood in 1969. More than 300 people were killed in police firing.
The movement was revived in 2000 with the floating of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
Following widespread protests and indefinite hunger strike by TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, the central government on Dec 9, 2009 decided to carve out Telangana state but backed out after counter protests in Seemandhra.