Seemandhra leaders hopeful that Centre will consider their demand

Desperate Seemandhra Congress leaders, the Union Ministers of the region in particular, have intensified efforts to salvage some prestige by again raising the demand for making Hyderabad a Union Territory.

Having almost given up their fight against division, Seemandhra leaders and the Union Ministers focussed their attention on prevailing upon the Group of Ministers to accord UT status to Hyderabad. While three Union Ministers – M. M. Pallam Raju, Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy and J. D. Seelam met the GoM last week with this plea, the latest to join the bandwagon is Union Minister Panabaka Lakshmi.

Although the CWC and the Union Cabinet stuck to the idea of Hyderabad being joint capital for ten years and Union Home Minister S. K. Shinde too ruled out the UT proposal, Seemandhra leaders are still hopeful that the Central leadership might review and favourably consider their demand. They feel that the Congress leadership can ill afford to ignore the overwhelming presence of Seemandhra population in the State Capital and hurt the feelings of people who are against division.

However, Telangana Congress leaders claim that the demand was a face saving exercise of the Seemandhra Ministers and leaders. “By toeing the high command line, these leaders have lost face among their constituents. Now, they are trying to send across a message to Seemandhra people that they are fighting for UT status for Hyderabad,” a senior PCC functionary from Telangana pointed out.

Even as the Seemandhra Congress leaders continued their efforts, deliberations of the GoM clearly pointed that the Centre had set a firm deadline to complete the process of division at the earliest. The GoM, it is understood, has, in principle, decided to constitute a board under the supervision of the Central Water Commission to handle the sticky river water sharing issue.

As regards the sharing of energy, a joint board comprising officials from the two States would be formed to monitor and coordinate day to day affairs.

It is also learnt that the GoM favoured law and order to be in the hands of the Union government till Hyderabad remains the joint capital of the two States for 10 years. This is in the face of the demand from Telangana Congress leaders for the constitution of a joint committee of senior police officials of the two States and a nominee of the Union government to look into the law and order issue. Telangana leaders feel that there is nothing wrong in having such a committee on the lines of river water sharing and power distribution.

State Congress leaders pointed out that the November 5 deadline set by the GoM for receiving representations from all sections including political parties was to avoid criticism that it was proceeding hastily.