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Why Congress finally said YES to Telangana

July 27, 2013 01:00 IST

Photographs: Reuters Renu Mittal in New Delhi

Looming elections and regional factors force Congress to finally relent on the Telangana statehood demand. Renu Mittal reports

he Congress core committee headed by party president Sonia Gandhi appears to have finalised the creation of a separate state of Telangana, say highly placed sources.

However, it is likely that one more round of discussion will take place.

Sources say that Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde briefed core group members on the situation on the ground, on the repercussions after the creation of Telangana state.

It was said that since panchayat elections are on in the state, the code of conduct is in place and along with that the Centre will have to ensure that the law and order situation in the state does not get out of hand.

It is possible that Andhra Pradesh will be vertically divided with two districts from Rayalseema included in Telangana.

Each state will have 21 seats each and Hyderabad -- the current capital -- would be made a Union Territory and the capital shared by both the states for the next 10 years or until a fresh capital is made after which it will be given to Telangana. 


Why Congress finally said YES to Telangana

Photographs: Reuters

Carving out Rayalseema is aimed at reducing the clout and weightage of Jagan Mohan Reddy, who commands strong support in the region.

The Congress is hopeful that whatever losses it makes in Andhra, it would gain in Telangana.

There is also a proposal to change the new state’s name.

The decision has been long and difficult for Sonia, sources say.

Senior Congress leaders say that once Telangana is created, the party will have to contain other statehood demands like Vidharba in Maharashtra.

But with the elections around the corner, the Congress feels it would be counter productive to prolong the decision any further.


Why Congress finally said YES to Telangana

Photographs: Reuters

During the course of the day when hectic consultations took place with Andhra Pradesh leaders, Sonia met Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy who is not in favour of the creation of Telangana.

Along with this AICC general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh, Digvijaya Singh met Andhra leaders and told them that the time had come to take a decision.

He is reported to have told them they must work to contain the fallout of the Telangana decision.

Sources say that the decision to carve out a separate state is likely to be announced by Shinde in Parliament.

This is so that the Opposition does not blame the Congress and the government about sidelining them and not taking them into confidence.

The Congress Working Committee would be convened to further discuss the issue and endorse what has already been decided after which the party is likely to appeal to the government to set the wheels in motion for the creation of a separate state.

Then, an all-party meeting may be convened before the announcement is made in Parliament.