Amid the row over bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, a Union Minister from Seemandhra has met senior Telangana Congress leader and his colleague at the Centre Jaipal Reddy seeking his support for making Hyderabad a Union Territory.
The meeting on Wednesday night between Minister of State for Finance J.D. Seelam and Mr. Reddy comes as Seemandhra ministers mounted pressure on Group of Ministers (GoM), which is looking into bifurcation issues, to give Union Territory status to Hyderabad.
However, Telangana leaders including Mr. Reddy have firmly opposed any move to alter the status of Hyderabad, saying the city was part and parcel of Telangana state.
“I met Jaipal Reddy last night to insist on Union Territory status for Hyderabad,” Minister of State for Finance J.D. Seelam told PTI. “Hyderabad should become a Union Territory on the line of Delhi with a legislative assembly set-up,” he added.
He said that Hyderabad must be a Union Territory till Seemandhra develops its own capital. “It may continue as a Union Territory for ten years or till Seemandhra builds a capital city, which ever is early,” Mr. Seelam stated.
The Union Minister pointed out that people in the Seemandhra region must be satisfied in the event of Andhra Pradesh being bifurcated.
Mr. Seelam is of the view that giving Union Territory status for Hyderabad would augur well for creating a conducive environment when the Telangana Bill is being discussed in the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly.
When asked about the response from Mr. Jaipal Reddy, he said that the former was a statesman. “He is not only a leader of Telugus, but also a national leader,” Mr. Seelam stated, while parrying the question.
He also sought the merger of 37 villages in Bhadrachalam division with Seemandhra for construction of Polavaram irrigation project. “Let Bhadrachalam temple be part of Telangana, but 37 villages in the division should be merged with Seemandhra for executing the Polavaram project,” he stressed.