New Delhi: Brushing aside opposition after dithering for nearly four years, the Congress and the UPA coalition Tuesday unanimously endorsed creation of a separate Telangana state from out of Andhra Pradesh.
"It is resolved to request the Central government to make steps in accordance with the Constitution to form a separate state of Telangana ......Within a definite timeframe," said a resolution of the Congress Working Committee, the highest policy-making body of the party, after over an hour-long meeting.
The Congress also decided to recommend to the government that Hyderabad be made the joint capital of the newly-proposed state and the other regions--Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra-for a period of 10 years.
The momentous decisions by the CWC and the UPA came after hectic consultations for the last over a week on creation of the 29th state of the country that will have a geographical area of 10 of the 23 districts of undivided Andhra Pradesh.
Today's decision also brings to fruition the announcement made by the then Home Minister P Chidambaram on December 9, 2009 for creation of Telangana.
Contrary to speculation that the new state could be named Rayala Telangana, including a couple of districts of Rayalaseema, the districts that will be part of the new state will be Adilabad, Karimnagar, Khammam, Mahaboobnagar, Medak, Nalgonda, Nizamabad, Rangareddy and Warangal besides Hyderabad.
At the moment the idea is to have 10 districts in Telangana but it will be for the Group of Ministers to consider demands for inclusion of more areas, AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, incharge of Andhra Pradesh affairs in Congress, told a press conference after the CWC meeting.
Out of 42 Lok Sabha seats and 294 Assembly seats in Andhra Pradehs, Telangana is likely to have 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 Assembly seats.
Telangana to be India's 29th state
Telangana will be the 29th state of India comprising 10 districts with plenty of water and some other natural resources in a backward region lacking development that was at the heart of the separate state demand.
As and when the state is formed, the jewel in the crown will always be the city of Hyderabad, which may for some time, at least 10 years to start with, be the joint capital for the rest of Andhra.
With a population of over 3.5 crore, the new state comprising mostly the areas of the princel Nizam state will have 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 Assembly seats.
When it joins the Indian Union, people of the region would hope that the new identity would help them overcome the challenges of poverty and backwardness which were at the roots of the separate state movement.
The demand for a separate identity for Telangana is virtually as old as the state of Andhra Pradesh, which came into existence in November 1956 through the States Reorganisation Act.
The Andhra Pradesh government website says: "Telangana agitation was started by the people of the region when they felt that Andhra leaders had flouted the Gentlemen's Agreement which facilitated the formation of Andhra Pradesh.