In a significant move, the Union Home Ministry on Thursday has written letters to eight political parties in the State seeking their views on issues raised in the terms of reference of the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to facilitate bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. Coming close on the heels of Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s announcement of holding all-party meeting next week, the letter dated October 30, is being perceived in political circles here as one that could not only delay the process of bifurcation but expose political parties such as Telugu Desam which were speaking in two voices.
The parties which have received the letters were Congress, Telugu Desam, YSR Congress, BJP, TRS, CPI, CPI (M) and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). While Congress, TDP, TRS, BJP and CPI have favoured Telangana, the CPI (M) and AIMIM batted for united Andhra Pradesh.
After extending support to Telangana, opinion is sharply divided within Congress and TDP over bifurcation, while the YSRC took a U-turn recently following a prolonged agitation in Seeamndhra. It is in such a confusing situation that the Centre’s opinion-gathering exercise couched in GoM’s terms of reference, is being seen with scepticism.
Interestingly, the Home Ministry listed out the eleven terms of reference, each one referring specifically to bifurcation and wanting the eight political parties to give their suggestions in writing by November 5. It has also indicated that on the receipt of suggestions, the GoM would interact with their representatives later.
But there was no mention of the all-party meeting “before the GoM’s next meeting on November 7”, as announced by Mr. Shinde.