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Central ministers from Telangana, Seemandhra meet GoM
Tuesday November 19, 2013 0:07 AM, IANS

Central ministers from Telangana and Seemandhra regions of Andhra Pradesh Monday met Group of Ministers (GoM) separately to present their arguments for and against formation of a separate Telangana state.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy also met the GoM. He opposed the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and explained to the group the problems which would be created with the formation of a Telangana state.

While ministers from Telangana called for completing the process for formation of separate state by December, their counterparts from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) opposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh but said if the division becomes inevitable, Hyderabad should be declared union territory on the lines of Delhi.

Three central ministers from Telangana were the first to meet the GoM, which is looking into various issues related to bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and formation of Telangana state. This was followed by a meeting seven ministers from Seemandhra had with the ministerial panel.

Demanding that Telangana should include both Hyderabad and Bhadrachalam, the ministers from Telangana submitted a 12-page report to the GoM headed by Union Home Minister Sushikumar Shinde.

Union Science and Technology Minister S. Jaipal Reddy, Minister of State for Transport Sarve Satyanarayana and Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment P. Balram Naik explained to the GoM the reasons why a Telangana state should be created.

Making a 30-minute presentation, Jaipal Reddy stressed the need for formation of Telangana state without any conditions. He argued that Hyderabad is an integral part of Telangana and it should be the capital of Telangana state.

Jaipal Reddy said there was no difference of opinion between government employees of Telangana and Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) over continuing Article 371 D (which provides certain safeguards to Seemandhra in employment).

He said a tribunal would be adequate for sharing of Krishna river water but there was no need for a tribunal for Godavari water.

Balram Naik told the GoM that Bhadrachalam division of Khammam district had been a part of Telangana and it should be included in the proposed state. He pointed out that people in the temple town had been agitating against merger with Seemandhra.

Seemandhra ministers demanded that the state should be kept unified. Opposing the bifurcation, they explained to the GoM the problems it would create. They highlighted the concerns of Seemandhra people including those living in Hyderabad. They said no measure should be taken to divide the state without addressing these concerns.

Central ministers from Seemndhra K. Sambasiva Rao, Pallam Raju, K. Chiranjeevi, J.D. Seelam, D. Purandeswari, Pannabaka Lakshmi and K. Krupa Rani met the GoM.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, J.D. Seelam said they submitted a seven-page letter to the GoM, giving reasons for opposing the bifurcation.

He said that if the division becomes inevitable, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) should be declared a union territory on the lines of Delhi. Claiming that 30 lakh people from Seemandhra are living in Hyderabad, he said the city belonged to all.

"Our first demand is that the state should remain unified," he said. With the crucial meetings, the GoM has intensified its work. It is likely to submit its report the union cabinet in the next few days.

Congress leaders have already hinted that a draft bill for formation of Telangana state would be sent to Andhra Pradesh assembly by the month-end. The bill is likely to be tabled during the winter session of Parliament beginning Dec 5.

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