Staff Reporter

‘Telangana, Seema should be merged in case of bifurcation'

Hyderabad as Union Territory impractical, MIM leaders tell Srikrishna panel

Party demands ban on the use of the word ‘settler'; says it is demeaning

HYDERABAD: The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen on Monday, in its presentation to the Srikrishna Committee, reiterated that it was opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh but, if such a bifurcation was inevitable, Telangana and Rayalaseema should be merged and a new State formed with Hyderabad as the capital.

A party delegation led by MIM president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, legislators Akbaruddin Owaisi, Syed Amin Jaffri and others had a 90-minute interaction with the committee members.

They were asked several explanations by the committee members like why Hyderabad should not be made a Union Territory in case the State was divided.

The MIM leaders said they gave three reasons for it. Unlike Chandigarh, the nearest geographical point of the other regions, either Rayalaseema or Coastal Andhra, was about 200 km away from Hyderabad.

Secondly, Telangana and Rayalseema could not survive without each other as the revenue (tax) collection in the two regions was about Rs. 40,000 crore per annum. Lastly, Hyderabad would become a haven for extremist elements, Mr. Asaduddin said.

“If the committee decides to recommend division of the State or if the Congress wants the State divided due to its parochial attitude, constitutional safeguards must be put in place for the development of Telangana, Urdu should be made the first official language of both the States and use of the word ‘settler' should be banned”, the MIM president said.

It would amount to casting aspersions on the integrity of a person by calling him a settler, he said.

Threat of BJP

“Tomorrow, they may say Muslims are also settlers as the community had its origins outside India”, he pointed out. The TDP would be wiped out in the region and BJP would consolidate its position by filling the political vacuum created by the TDP, Mr. Asaduddin Owaisi said. This would be dangerous as the BJP was already trying to balkanise and saffronise the country, he added.