The Indian Union cabinet on Thursday has approved the formation of Group of Ministers (GoM) for creation of Telangana. Hyderabad will be the joint capital of both Telangana and Seemandhra for 10 years, home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said.
People of all the three regions will be guaranteed fundamental rights, Shinde said.
The new state will be carved out of Andhra Pradesh, marking the culmination of a long-drawn agitation spanning several decades.
Scores of anti-Telangana supporters protested outside the Prime Minister’s official residence on Thursday afternoon where the Cabinet meeting was be held.
Holding banners and shouting slogans against the division of the state, the protestors called for ‘Saving Andhra Pradesh’ and tried to enter the Prime Minister’s residence at 7 Race Course Road by breaking through the barricades. Police stopped the protestors and bundled them into police vans before taking them away.
14 ministers and about 50 legislators from Andhra Pradesh’s Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) region also met in Hyderabad to chalk out their strategy. State minister S Sailajanath, who heads the Congress leaders opposing the proposed bifurcation, said after the meeting that they remained committed to ‘samaikyandhra’ (united Andhra).
The CWC resolution has proposed to make Hyderabad the joint capital of the two states – Telangana and the remaining districts of Andhra Pradesh. But the Congress leadership gave up this plan since this would have necessitated turning the much-sought after city into a union territory (UT).
Government sources told HT that the home minister intended to place the formal note before the cabinet at its meeting a few hours later today to seek the government’s approval.
According to the cabinet note, the new state of Telangana would comprise 10 districts including Hyderabad.
The residuary state of Andhra Pradesh can still operate out of Hyderabad for a maximum of 10 years but the AP government would not have a say in its governance.
“Our sense is that given the politically-surcharged environment in Hyderabad, the Andhra Pradesh government would like to move out to a new capital as soon as possible,” a government functionary said.
In the cabinet note cleared by Shinde, the home ministry has also proposed constituting a group of ministers to decide on the nitty-gritty of splitting Andhra’s assets and liabilities between the two states.
Out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in the undivided state, 17 would go to Telangana state and 25 to residuary Andhra and out of the 18 Rajya Sabha seats in the undivided state, 8 are proposed to be given to Telangana and 10 to rest of Andhra Pradesh. The 294-seat legislative assembly would similarly be split with 119 going to Telangana and 175 to Andhra. The cabinet note, however, does not spell out any proposal for the 90-member legislative council.