Similarly, AIMIM would not support any proposal to make Hyderabad as the joint capital and declare it as a union territory.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president and Hyderabad Lok Sabha member Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday made it clear that his party would oppose strongly any move by the Centre to divide Andhra Pradesh and form a separate Telangana State, if reports were to be believed. “There is no ambiguity on that”.

Similarly, AIMIM would not support any proposal to make Hyderabad as the joint capital and declare it as a union territory.

The party was consistent from the beginning that the united Andhra Pradesh should continue to exist at any cost and the Congress/UPA-II should not take any decision to divide the State for political mileage ignoring the interests of the people, he said.

Talking to The Hindu over phone, Mr. Owaisi, a friend-turned-foe of the Congress, pooh-poohed reports that the Congress had wanted to allow creation of Telangana now as it might have to extend support if the BJP captured power in the next general election and introduced the Telangana Bill. If one accepted this argument of the Congress, then it makes it clear that the party was reconciling itself that it would not be forming the next government, he said.

“Creating Telangana is going to help only the BJP in the long run. We are clear in our stand of not allowing the division of Andhra Pradesh from the day one. The Congress is doing this only for political consideration. The issue is not a child’s play, so the Congress/UPA-II regime should better drop the proposal, if any, and instead concentrate more on the welfare of the people and upholding secularism in the country and thus not allow BJP to capture power,” Mr. Owaisi said. Regarding Hyderabad vis-a-vis proposal for declaring it as a Union Territory, he said “Hyderabad cannot be a union territory as there is no geographical contiguity like Punjab and Haryana have with Chandigarh. It is a hinterland in Telangana region,” he said.

Intelligence agencies, in their report mentioning the disadvantages of forming Telangana, had reportedly pointed out that as Hyderabad is surrounded by the regions of Telangana, even if the city is made as a joint capital, there could be problems relating to law and order for the Chief Ministers, Ministers and other leaders of Seemandhra for proceeding to and from Hyderabad. Every third person among the residents in Hyderabad is a Muslim as it is densely populated with Muslims.