GoM to meet again on Wednesday to complete the process; draft bill to go to Law Ministry
The Group of Ministers (GoM) set up to finalise the contentious issues relating to the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, on Tuesday broadly approved the draft bill for the purpose. But indications were that the idea of the inclusion of two more districts, Anantapur and Kurnool, from the Rayalaseema region to constitute a ‘Rayala-Telangana’ has so far gained little traction.
After an hour-long meeting at North Block, the high-power ministerial panel decided to refer the bill again to the Law Ministry “to clean up the legal language.” A senior Union Minister told The Hindu the GoM will have a final meeting at 8 p.m. on Wednesday to complete the process.
According to informed sources, further discussions are possible on the plan for the inclusion of the two districts to create ‘Rayala-Telangana’. The principal Opposition party, the BJP, and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) which has been in the forefront of the agitation for a Telangana state, have vehemently opposed that idea.
Emerging from the GoM meeting, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy confirmed that the GoM would meet on Wednesday. Another Union Minister said the GoM was “going forward” with discussions on crucial issues.
According to highly placed government sources, the GoM has considered ways to deal with the matter of Central services officers. Indications are that priority would be given to those officers who provide their preference to serve in the state of their choice after bifurcation.
Among key issues for the GoM to consider on Wednesday are the division of Lok Sabha and Assembly constituencies and sharing water from the Pennar.
The GoM is learnt to have proposed a High Court for the state of Telangana. The High Court in Hyderabad will become the High Court for Andhra Pradesh.
The Congress-led government at the Centre would not like to take any chances on the creation of Telangana by not having the BJP on board, according to a senior Union Minister.