Seemandhra Lawmakers behind Rayala-Telangana Idea
By GS Vasu | ENS | Published: 07th December 2013 07:57 AM |
Having reconciled themselves to State division, Seemandhra lawmakers are understood to have lobbied hard till the last minute, with almost everyone who matters in Delhi, for making Hyderabad a union territory or if it’s not possible, merging Anantapur and Kurnool with the proposed Telangana State.
It now emerges that the Rayala-Telangana proposal was indeed given a serious thought by members of the GoM but in the end, it only served as a bargaining chip for getting the BJP on board for an extended winter session. The saffron party, which opposed R-T, agreed to an extended session only if the bill was for a 10-district Telangana State. Among the GoM members, R-T was backed by Jairam Ramesh and Veerappa Moily, apparently at the behest of Seemandhra leaders who sold the idea that it would solve the issue of new capital for the residuary state and utilisation of Krishna river waters. While it is not known what stand Finance Minister P Chidambaram took — though he scoffed at the media for speculating on such a possibility — Defence Minister AK Antony and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were said to have been against the proposal. When the matter was finally taken to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, she too was understood to have felt that they should not give scope for a new controversy at this late stage. That was when the R-T proposal was buried. It was then that the Seemandhra leaders pleaded with anyone they could meet that Hyderabad should be made a UT. But, UPA leaders felt this too would open a pandora’s box considering the stiff opposition to the proposal from Telangana Congress leaders and the prime mover of the statehood movement, TRS.
Sources said this was the only aspect about which Sonia Gandhi made a specific enquiry when briefed about the bill before it was placed before the Cabinet. To her question, “What are you doing in regard to law and order in Hyderabad?” GoM members explained that a mechanism under the control of the Governor is being proposed and she seems to have given her nod. Even at the Cabinet meeting, while KS Rao and Pallam Raju reportedly strongly argued for UT status for Hyderabad, they found Kishore Chandra Deo striking a different note. He suggested that Vizag be made the capital of the residuary state. Jaipal Reddy was said to have intervened briefly but let his Andhra counterparts vent their feelings as in any case, the end result was known.