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Congress births a new state to reduce election pangs ఆగస్ట్ 4, 2013

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in compromise, Congress, elections, politics, Telangana.
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Telangana: Congress births a new state to reduce election pangs
ET Bureau, 31 July 2013

New Delhi: Congress has conceded the long-pending demand for carving a separate state of Telangana out ofAndhra Pradesh despite sharp dissensions among its local leaders, a move seemingly calculated to reap electoral dividends for the party in the next general elections.

The Congress Working Committee on Tuesday endorsed the demand, granting statehood to Telangana, which will have 10 districts, including capital Hyderabad that it will share with Andhra Pradesh for the first decade and get to claim as its own thereafter.

Congress, however, gave up under pressure from local leaders the proposal of cleanly bifurcating Andhra and merging two districts of Rayalaseema region, Anantapur and Kurnool with the new state.

“It is resolved to request the central government to take steps in accordance with the Constitution to form a separate state of Telangana…within a definite time-frame,” CWC said.

This was stated in a resolution after the party’s allies approved the decision at a coordination committee of the Congress-led ruling coalition. While the decision evoked cheers in Telangana, the United Andhra Pradesh Joint Action Committee called for a bandh in the Rayalaseema and Andhra regions on Wednesday.

Although Congress leaders insisted that the decision had little to do with political considerations, electoral compulsions appeared to be clearly weighing on their minds, especially since the party has lost considerable ground in the state that made a handsome contribution to propelling it to power at the Centre in both the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

“Political expediency cannot be a reason for such a far-reaching decision,” Digvijaya Singh, the party’s general secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh, said. At the same time, he expressed hope that K Chandrasekhara Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) would merge with Congress. “As far as TRS is concerned, KCR has repeatedly given statements that his party would merge with Congress after Telangana is granted statehood. We shall await a reaction from TRS. We will be favourably inclined to discuss this issue with them,” Singh said.

The actual formation of the proposed state, India’s 29th, will take about four-five months, Singh said. The main opposition, BJP, which had promised formation of Telangana if it came to power at the Centre, demanded that the government bring the bill in Parliament’s monsoon session, which will begin on August 5. “We don’t want Congress to only make an announcement.

It should also bring a bill in Parliament in the monsoon session,” Javadekar said, adding that the bill will be passed by both Houses. “There has been a demand for giving statehood to Telangana with Hyderabad as the capital and an integral part of the state but Congress has been dilly-dallying on the issue,” he said. Congress, however, said BJP had rejected the demand for a separate state for Telangana.

“When (former chief minister) YSR (Rajasekhara Reddy) was in power, 41 MLAs had requested the President to form a second State Reorganisation Commission. In 2001, LK Advani (as home minister) said no to the second SRC. In 2002, BJP’s MP from Andhra Pradesh wrote a letter to Advani demanding statehood for Telangana. In April 2002, Advani replied and had said BJP and NDA government were not in favour of Telangana,” Digvijaya Singh said.

Source: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-07-31/news/40915519_1_telangana-rashtra-samithi-separate-state-monsoon-session

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