Hyderabad: The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has strongly opposed the reported proposal by the central government to make Hyderabad a union territory, saying this would destroy the city.
The MIM demanded that Hyderabad should be unconditional capital of Telangana state, which, it suggested, should also include two districts of Rayalaseema.
In a letter to the Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted by the centre over bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the MIM sought formation of separate Greater Telangana state comprising 10 districts of Telangana and Anantapur and Kunrool districts of Rayalaseema.
The GoM has sought suggestions of all political parties before working out modalities for formation of Telangana state.
Ruling out any compromise on Hyderabad as the capital of the new state, MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi also opposed the proposal for central control over law and order and other matters in Hyderabad.
The MIM demanded that the centre must quickly decide on the capital for the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh and include it in the AP Reorganisation Bill so that work on the new capital can start immediately.
The Hyderabad MP told reporters here Wednesday that he suspects the centre is contemplating status of union territory or short of union territory to Hyderabad, and said this would destroy the city and affect the interests of Muslims and other weaker sections.
He strongly suspects that the centre is contemplating UT status to Hyderabad, saying the suspicion is based on a cabinet note, terms of reference of the GoM and background note of the home ministry to the GoM.
"Hyderabad is not Chandigarh. There is no geographical contiguity between Hyderabad and Andhra," said Owaisi, whose party has its political base in Hyderabad and has been representing Hyderabad in the Lok Sabha for nearly three decades.
He said UT status to Hyderabad would destroy the city as neither Telangana nor the residuary Andhra state would invest here.
The party, which has seven members in the state legislative assembly from the historic city, also rejected the proposal for making Hyderabad a common capital of both the state. "We would like to make clear that the proposal for common capital status to Hyderabad is unacceptable to us," the MP said.
"We don't want union status or central rule for Hyderabad. There is no question of allowing central control over law and order, municipal administration, revenue, land administration, higher education and medicare in Hyderabad. Such a proposition would adversely impact Hyderabad," he wrote to the GoM.
"At best within the city of Hyderabad, Khairatabad mandal can be designated as a common area to serve as temporary working capital for the residuary state," it added.
He said the argument that people of Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) live in Hyderabad and hence should be declared a UT or the central government should take control of law and order was without any basis.
"People of Seemandhra also live in other districts of Telangana. Let the centre take law and order of all these districts in its hands," he said.
The MIM chief said if the government of Telangana was unable to provide security to people, the centre could dismiss it under Article 356.
He also suggested that people of Seemandhra living in Hyderabad be declared linguistic minority to protect them under Article 29 of the Constitution.
Pointing out that MIM originally stood for continuance of united Andhra Pradesh but since the Congress and the UPA government foisted their decision to carve out separate Telangana state, it reluctantly accepted it.
Owaisi, however, warned that the bifurcation would strengthen the communal forces in the new state. "History will judge them whether it was the right decision or coloured by short-sightedness," he said.
The MIM urged the GoM to recommend to the government to ensure that four percent reservations for Muslims in the existing Andhra Pradesh continue in the two states.