Cabinet approves creation of Telangana state with 10 districts

The Union Cabinet on Thursday cleared a parliamentary bill for creation of Telangana state having 10 districts.

Zee Media Bureau

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).

Setting aside speculations about Rayala-Telangana, the cabinet decided to carve out Telangana state comprising 10 districts of the region that includes Hyderabad.

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.

Also Read: KCR expresses reservations about draft Telangana bill

The decision of the cabinet came after the Congress Core Group met in the morning and cleared the CWC resolution of Telangana with 10 districts.

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee Friday or Saturday with a request to make a reference to the state`s legislature under Article 3 of the Constitution, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters after the three-hour long cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He said the president would send the draft bill to the assembly with a stipulated time to consider it.

After the Assembly sends back the bill to the President, it would come to the government and the same be brought before the Cabinet again and a final bill would be tabled in Parliament.

Shinde said government wants to bring the bill in the Winter session of Parliament but it depends on when the President returns the bill after signing it.

Also Read: TDP slams Congress for "adding confusion" over AP division

The highlights of the bill are:

  • Telangana will comprise 10 districts and the rest of Andhra Pradesh comprises 13 districts.
  • Hyderabad will remain the common capital for both the states for a period not exceeding 10 years.
  • The Governor of Telangana will have a special responsibility for security of life, liberty and property of all those who reside in the common capital area. The Governor may be assisted by two advisors to be appointed by the Government of India.
  • The government of India will extend financial and other support to the creation of a new capital for the successor state of Andhra Pradesh to be idendified by an expert committee.
  • Institutional mechanism with full involvement and participation of government of India will be put in place to manage water resources and projects on Krishna and Godavari rivers in an amicable and equitable manner.
  • Polavaram will be declared as a national project and will be executed by the union government following all environmental and R&R norms.
  • Detailed provisions have been made in the bill on matters relating to coal, power, oil and gas, division of assets and liabilities and allocation of government employees.
  • The government of India will assist the two states in augumenting their police forces for maintaining public order.
  • Article 371 D will continue for the both states to ensure equitable opportunities for education and public employment.
  • Existing admission quotas in higher technical and medical institutions will continue for a period not exceding five years.

    Also Read: Good response to TRS bandh against Rayala-Telangana

    The draft bill was approved after the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted in October to look into various issues related to the bifurcation submitted its report. Shinde, who headed the GoM, said the draft bill was based on the GoM recommendations.

    Other salient points of the bill are:

  • Special economic package for backward regions of both the states.
  • There will be two High Courts. Hyderabad High Court will be part of Telangana and it will be the High Court for both the states till a new High Court is set up in Seemandhra region.
  • Both the states will have a joint Public Service Commission till each one has its own Commission.
  • Singareni coal fields will go to government of Telangana, government sources said.

    Also Read: Call for Seemandhra shutdown Friday to oppose bifurcation

    The GoM, which has 11 terms of reference, did not deviate from the Oct 3 decision of the cabinet to carve out Telangana state with 10 districts. The cabinet had taken the decision in accordance with a resolution passed by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on July 30.

    Shinde said the GoM met all stakeholders and political parties, received about 18,000 e-mails from people and discussed with secretaries of concerned departments, the chief minister and deputy chief minister of Andhra Pradesh and central ministers from both Telangana and Seemandhra.

    The cabinet met after Congress core group held a meeting at the residence of the prime minister. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Sushil Kumar Shinde, AK Antony, P Chidambaram and Sonia Gandhi`s political secretary Ahmed Patel attended the meeting.

    The GoM, which was seriously considering the proposal for Rayala-Telangana by merging two of the four districts of Rayalaseema with Telangana, reportedly dropped it after stiff opposition from both the sides.

    Telangana observed a total shutdown Thursday to oppose the proposal.

    Andhra Pradesh was formed on Nov 1, 1956 following merger of Andhra State with Telangana, then known as Hyderabad State. It was one of the first states formed on linguistic basis.

    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.