Union Minister Kavuri Sambasiva Rao said he had walked out of the Union Cabinet meeting on December 5 after it decided in favour of division without considering the concerns of Seemandhra region.

Strongly criticising the manner in which the Centre was going ahead with the bifurcation process, Union Minister Kavuri Sambasiva Rao said here on Saturday that Seemandhra Ministers and MPs would go to any extent to stop division of the State in a democratic manner.

At a press conference, Mr. Rao said he had walked out of the Union Cabinet meeting on December 5 after it decided in favour of division without considering the concerns of Seemandhra region. Some Union Ministers did not peruse the comprehensive draft of the Reorganisation Bill.

He had raised the issue of Union Territory status for Hyderabad, merger of Bhadrachalam division in Seemandhra and how the idea of merging Kurnool and Anantapur districts in Telangana was dropped. The Seemandhra leaders had argued that Hyderabad should be accorded UT status as all development was concentrated in and around it. There are 450 institutions in the State capital and Hyderabad is known as the hub of IT, pharma, tourism, health and education, he said.

Development in Seemandhra is confined to agriculture and the income is miniscule and that was why people were flocking to Hyderabad for employment. If the demand for making it a UT with an Assembly was conceded by the Cabinet, Seemandhra leaders could have convinced the people that all was not lost.

On Bhadrachalam, he said it should be merged in Seemandhra to avoid hurdles for construction of Polavaram. He alleged that Telangana leaders had aided Chhattisgarh and Orissa Governments in their legal battle against AP over Polavaram. If water from Polavaram was denied to Dowleswaram, close to 10.27 lakh acres would be affected. He said the capacity of Dowleswaram was one tmcft while that of Polavaram was 250 tmcft. Mr. Rao said a day-long agitation by TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao forced the Centre to drop the idea of Rayala-Telangana by merging Kurnool and Anantapur even though 92 per cent of people from the two districts favoured the proposal. Faulting the entire process, he reasoned that the Bill could not even go to the Parliament with considering the opinion of the majority of Members of the Assembly. To a question, Mr. Rao said he would have resigned if it stalled the process of division.