GoM on Telangana may finalise recommendations soon

    By IANS,

    Hyderabad : With the completion of the process of consultations, the Group of Ministers (GoM) on bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh is likely to finalise its recommendations in a couple of days for their inclusion in the draft bill for formation of separate Telangana state.

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    The GoM, which is looking into various issues related to bifurcation, is expected to speed up the whole process at its next meeting, scheduled to be held Thursday at New Delhi.

    The draft bill will be sent to the union cabinet, which will approve and send it to the president as provided by Article 3 of the Constitution.

    As the centre intends to table the bill for creation of Telangana state during the winter session of parliament next month, President Pranab Mukherjee is likely to refer the draft bill to the Andhra Pradesh legislature by month-end to obtain its view. The president will then approve and send the draft bill back to the cabinet for tabling it in parliament.

    As part of the intensified efforts to finalise its recommendations, union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Tuesday discussed with senior officials key issues related to bifurcation.

    The meeting in the national capital lasted for three hours. They are likely to have another round of discussions on with the officials on constitutional and other issues.

    The GoM Monday completed consultations by holding separate meetings with central ministers from Telangana and Seemandhra (the combined Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra region) and Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.

    The ministers from Telangana stressed the need for completing the entire process for formation of a separate state next month and also made it clear that the state should comprise 10 districts with Hyderabad as its capital.

    Ministers from Seemandhra, however, demanded the GoM to keep Andhra Pradesh united. They said if the division becomes inevitable, Hyderabad be declared a union territory.

    Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy urged the GoM to reconsider the decision, saying bifurcation would lead to security concerns not just for the two states and Hyderabad but for the entire country.

    He warned that bifurcation would help Maoists to revive their activity and would also create law and order problems, especially in Hyderabad and other communally sensitive pockets.

    The six-member GoM headed by Shinde was constituted last month following the union cabinet’s decision to create Telangana as the 29th state of the country.

    The panel is looking into 11 issues including determining the boundaries of the new state of Telangana and the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh; legal and administrative measures so that that both the state governments can function efficiently from Hyderabad as the common capital for 10 years; measures that may be required for transition to a new capital of the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh.

    Other issues before the panel are related to law and order, safety and security of all residents; ensuring peace and harmony in all regions; sharing of the river water, irrigation resources and other natural resources (especially coal, water, oil and gas) between the two states.

    The GoM discussed the issues with secretaries of departments concerned of the central government, sought suggestions from people and held separate meetings with leaders of eight political parties from the state.