Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh on Sunday said that the expert committee constituted by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on selection of a location to create capital for Andhra Pradesh would come out with its report on September 30.

Mr. Ramesh said at a media conference here that he had received representations from local Congress activists requesting to locate the State capital somewhere between Vijayawada and Eluru. Party workers favoured any location close to Gannavaram, one of the three airports identified for upgradation with an international status in the residuary State, for building the capital city, he said.

Mr. Ramesh admitted that the Congress party would pay a heavy price in the Seemandhra region for dividing the State. “I agree that our party is passing through a difficult phase and, after all, the difficulty is self-induced,” he told the media. He blamed the party leadership from the region for allegedly failing to take people on board in fulfilment of its commitment of a separate Telangana State.

The Congress might be lying low for the time being. But one could construe that it’s out, he said while replying to a question. In the same breath, he added: “One cannot write off the Congress in Seemandhra as the bifurcation process has to be carried out smoothly and peacefully.” It would be violent in the absence of the Congress because of the ‘trigger-happy’ regional satraps like K. Chandrasekhar Rao, N. Chandrababu Naidu and Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, he said.

Mr. Ramesh, however, defended the bifurcation, saying it came as a blessing in disguise for the residuary State in the form of a special development package as mentioned in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. Then came the national status for the Indira Sagar Project and the Krishna River Board, an independent authority to provide equal opportunity to both Telangana and Seemandhra regions in distribution of river waters, as part of the package, he said.