In a bid to thwart attempt by Seemandhra leadership seeking Union Territory status for Hyderabad if bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh is inevitable, political parties in the twin cities have upped the ante against such moves.
These parties see a strategy in the demands of the Seemandhra leaders, particularly Union Ministers K.S. Rao and K. Chiranjeevi, for raking up the Hyderabad issue. MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has come out openly against such demand and city Minister Danam Nagender on Tuesday warned of serious trouble if such a decision was taken.
Highly places sources told The Hindu on Tuesday that almost all the major political parties were reportedly in touch with the MIM and expressed their deep sense of concern over the demand to make Hyderabad UT. As a follow-up, Mr. Nagender reportedly sought an appointment with the Antony Committee to present a separate report on Hyderabad.
Parties stated that Seemandhra leadership too know that the high command would not reverse its stand on bifurcation and hence are now raking up the UT status for twin cities. Sources point out that political parties maintained that UT status would deprive Telangana State of its rightful share. They noted that civic revenues of the twin cities close to Rs.19,000 crore would go to the Central coffers making Telangana the loser.
Leaders noted that there would be three different administrative set-ups in Hyderabad city. While the Telangana and Seemandhra States would have their own administration, another exclusive machinery would be created for the twin cities if it becomes UT.
Another question is the jurisdiction of the UT, whether it would be Hyderabad district, GHMC or HMDA area. While the Hyderabad district covers 200 sq km, the GHMC limits have 625 sq km and HMDA 7,228 sq km.
They argue that if the GHMC area was taken into account for the purpose of UT status, then as many as 24 Assembly constituencies would fall under it. And if HMDA is taken as the yardstick to make Hyderabad UT, then areas falling in four districts of Ranga Reddy, Medak, Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda would be covered. This would certainly become counter productive for the State of Telangana, leaders argued.
There is also apprehension that if the Centre decides to accord UT status to Hyderabad without legislature, as many as 24 constituencies would be deprived of representation. This would automatically bring down the strength of Telangana State Assembly.
Parties point out that 80-lakh strong Seemandhra people residing in Telangana could assert their democratic right by getting their leaders elected. A majority of the constituencies abutting Hyderabad have sizable Seemandhra population and it would be difficult for parties to ignore their presence.