"The issue of the capital for the proposed new State of Telangana for which steps have been initiated is a matter that is to be decided by consensus and by the Government." -- Union Home Ministry
Home Secretary G. K. Pillai on Friday waded into controversy saying Hyderabad will be the capital of the proposed Telangana State but beat a hasty retreat when his remarks created a huge flutter in Andhra Pradesh.
“Hyderabad, I think, will always be the capital of Telangana,” Mr. Pillai, who is here on an overnight visit to Jammu, told reporters after a security review meeting.
But immediately his remarks were opposed by political leaders from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema who are opposed to the creation of Telangana and more so to Hyderabad being its capital.
Shortly later, Mr. Pillai issued a clarification saying that he did not state that Hyderabad would be the capital of Telangana.
“In response to a question from a journalist that the proponents for the State of Telangana had wanted Hyderabad to be its capital, Home Secretary had stated that this was what they wanted.
“The issue of the capital for the proposed new State of Telangana for which steps have been initiated is a matter that is to be decided by consensus and by the Government,” a Home Ministry spokesman said in a statement in national capital.
MPs from Andhra Pradesh were also furious over Mr. Pillai’s remarks. “We go by what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [and] Congress President Sonia Gandhi say,” Congress MP K. S. Rao told reporters in Parliament.
The Prime Minister had assured MPs from Andhra Pradesh that “nothing will be done in haste”.