Some T-Congress leaders not averse to making Hyderabad common capital

Congress party’s central leadership appears to have almost dropped the move to merge Kurnool and Anantapur districts with Telangana in the event of bifurcation of the State.

Highly placed sources told The Hindu on Saturday that the Core Committee had dropped the proposal to create Rayala-Telangana in the wake of opposition from some quarters in both the regions. Rajya Sabha member Palvai Goverdhan Reddy reportedly told a meeting of his party leaders, including Panchayat Raj Minister K. Jana Reddy, that hints to this effect were dropped by top leaders.

Over the past one month, AICC leaders floated what were perceived as ‘trial balloons’ such as a special package for Telangana and creation of Rayala-Telangana, primarily to gauge the people’s mood. Predictably, both the ideas were opposed across the board.

A section of Telangana Congress leaders were not, however, averse to making Hyderabad a common capital, till Seemandhra built its own capital. The MIM, which is a champion of a united State, was among the few parties in favour of Rayala-Telangana as Rayalaseema had a 12 per cent Muslim population.

Minor Irrigation Minister T.G. Venkatesh on Saturday said the people of Rayalaseema will not accept the proposal as it would turn the region into a desert. He expressed the fear that the Congress may favour division of the State since other parties like Telugu Desam, BJP, YSRC and CPI had already taken a stand in favour of separate Telangana.

Mr. Venkatesh said creation of Rayala-Telangana was tantamount to disintegration of a family. People in the region had sacrificed so much when Andhra Pradesh was formed by giving up their capital Kurnool and Bellary to Karnataka State and, in the process, lost access to water resources. Dividing Rayalaseema once again would be even more traumatic.

He said if bifurcation became inevitable, people of Rayalaseema should have a say to decide their fate and all the political parties should stand by them. It is the people who should take the lead as protests would serve no purpose after a decision was taken. If a separate Telangana became inevitable, then the Centre should grant Greater Rayalaseema that would include the whole of Nellore, Prakasam districts, besides Alampur and Gadwal constituencies in Mahbubnagar.