New Delhi okays Telangana draft bill

December 06, 2013 - 6:17:30 am
New Delhi/Hyderabad: Clearing the decks for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the union cabinet yesterday approved the draft bill for carving out Telangana as the 29th state 

of India.

Setting aside speculations about Rayala-Telangana, the cabinet decided to carve out Telangana state comprising 10 districts of the region that includes Hyderabad.

Also rejecting the demand of leaders of Seemandhra (combined Rayalseema and coastal Andhra regions) for making Hyderabad a union territory, it stuck to the earlier decision that the city would be a common capital for 10 years. The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee today or tomorrow with a request to make a reference to the state’s legislature under Article 3 of the Constitution, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters after the three-hour long cabinet meet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He said the president would send the draft bill to the assembly with a stipulated time to consider it.

After the assembly sends back the bill to the president, it would come to the government and the same be brought before the cabinet again and a final bill would be tabled in parliament. “We don’t know. The president will give time to the state legislature,” said Shinde when asked if the bill would come up during the winter session of parliament which began yesterday. “We want the bill in the winter session,” he added.

The draft bill was approved after the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted in October to look into various issues related to the bifurcation submitted in its report. Shinde, who headed the GoM, said the draft bill was based on the GoM recommendations.

Reading out the highlights of the bill, the home minister said the governor of Telangana would have special responsibility for protection of lives and property of people of other regions living in Hyderabad. The federal government will appoint two advisers to the governor. The federal government will also assist in developing a new capital for the successor state of Andhra Pradesh comprising 13 districts. An expert committee would be constituted in 45 days to identify the capital.

The GoM, which has 11 terms of reference, did not deviate from the October 3 decision of the cabinet to carve out Telangana state with 10 districts. The cabinet had taken the decision in accordance with a resolution passed by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) on July 30. IANS
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