The Group of Ministers (GoM) continued to struggle to find a solution to the contentious issue of Hyderabad city’s status as the process of division of Andhra Pradesh gathered momentum ahead of the Union Cabinet meeting on November 28.

Hyderabad remains the bone of contention between the two regions with Seemandhra leaders demanding Union Territory status for the joint capital, for some period of time while Ministers from Telangana say they will have none of it.

They want Telangana with ten districts, including Hyderabad, with no strings attached beyond Hyderabad serving as the joint capital for ten years to enable the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh to build its own capital. Union Minister for Science and Technology S. Jaipal Reddy made this stand clear at a meeting with Home Minister S. K. Shinde in the national capital.

Seelam’s plea

In sharp contrast, another Union Minister J. D. Seelam, who hails from Seemandhra region, said they had no objection to creation of Telangana but they would oppose the States Reorganisation Bill in Parliament if Hyderabad was not made a Union Territory.

Meanwhile, sources said the GoM is unlikely to bypass the Congress Working Committee’s decision on the composition of Telangana, including the status of Hyderabad as a joint capital.

This was made clear when a Union Minister from Seemandhra met Congress president Sonia Gandhi who said the CWC’s decision would be implemented in word and spirit.

Bhadrachalam, Rayala-Telangana issues

Telangana Congress leaders do not want the jurisdiction of the capital to extend beyond the GHMC limits and are not averse to vesting key subjects like law and order with the Centre to create a sense of confidence among the Seemandhra people. Sources said the GoM was unwilling to include the issue of Bhadrachalam and Rayala-Telangana in the draft Bill on Telangan.

Apart from Mr. Jaipal Reddy, Union Minister Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy and Mr. Seelam separately met the GoM and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Seemandhra Union Ministers have been invited by Mr. Jairam Ramesh for consultations on Wednesday.