The parliamentary process on Telangana will have to be preceded by three crucial steps once the Group of Ministers (GoM) submits its report to the Cabinet, which will consider and approve it as it is or with amendments.
Once the Cabinet puts its seal of approval on the proposed Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, it will be referred to President Pranab Mukherjee, who in turn would refer it to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly for consideration.
At a news conference here, Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy said the State Assembly is required to meet in December to meet the constitutional requirement that there could not be more than a gap of six months between two sessions.
While the President is required to send the Bill as approved by the Cabinet to the Assembly for consideration, approval of the legislature is not mandatory for the creation of a State.
In their presentation to the GoM, the Union Ministers from Andhra Pradesh stuck to their known stand. While those representing Telangana argued in favour of bifurcation, broadly on the lines of the July 30 resolution of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), those representing the coastal districts and Rayalaseema opposed to the bifurcation came out with different views on the issue if creation of Telangana was inevitable.
Hyderabad was a major bone of contention in the presentations made by the Ministers from all three regions. The CWC resolution had said Hyderabad should be joint capital of both States for 10 years.
While the Union Ministers from Seemandhra stressed that Hyderabad should be made into a Union Territory, those from the Telangana region said the new State would be “incomplete” without Hyderabad as the capital.
Union Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo, who is from Seemandhra, submitted a separate memorandum to the GoM, demanding that Visakhapatnam be made the capital of residual Andhra Pradesh.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Union Science and Technology Minister S Jaipal Reddy said Hyderabad is part and parcel of Telangana. Ministers led by Mr. Reddy said the Bhadrachalam revenue sub-division should be an integral part of Telangana and not be given to residual Andhra Pradesh.
He argued that there was no need for any tribunal on sharing of the Godavari water but one was needed for the Krishna river.
However, Union ministers from the Seemandhra region said the procedure related to bifurcation was being rushed without any consideration to the “genuine concerns”, sentiments and interest of the people of the Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.
“Hyderabad should be made a Union Territory on the lines of Puducherry,” said Minister of State for Finance J.D. Seelam.
“One-third of the population in Hyderabad is from the Seemandhra region. No city, either in the Seemandhra or the Telangana region, has grown like Hyderabad. Hyderabad is the proud capital of Telugus,” he said.
At his news conference, the Chief Minister reiterated that bifurcation of the State would have national repercussions, and favoured a liberal financial package to redress the grievances of people of the Telangana region.