No clarity on composition of proposed state

The Group of Ministers (GoM) on Wednesday night cleared the draft bill for the creation of a state of Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh.

It will now come up for discussion at a meeting of the Union Cabinet scheduled on Thursday evening.

However, there was no clarity on whether the proposed state would consist of 10 districts of the region or would also include two from neighbouring area — Anantapur and Kurnool — of the Rayalaseema region.

A senior Union Minister, who did not wish to be named, told The Hindu in response to a query on the contentious Rayala-Telangana idea that “all options are on table and Union Cabinet will take a final call.”

The GoM is learnt to have discussed the pros and cons of the proposal to add two more districts to Telangana. It decided to leave the issue to the Union Cabinet, highly placed sources said.

“The GoM set up by the Cabinet on October 3 held its final meeting on Wednesday. The GoM’s report and recommendations will be discussed in Union Cabinet meeting on Thursday,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told journalists outside North Block.

Emerging after an hour-long meeting of the high-power ministerial panel, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Veerappa Moily said the draft bill and report of the GoM would be submitted to the Prime Minister on Thursday.

The idea of Rayala-Telangana has become a bone of contention with the principal opposition party, the BJP, asserting that it would not support the proposal. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), which has been leading the agitation for the creation of Telangana, is also vehemently opposed to the idea and has given a call for bandh in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.

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