Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi/Hyderabad, 12 November
The Group of Ministers (GoM) on bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh today began meeting representatives of political parties from the state.
Majlis-e-Ittehedul Muslimeen (MIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi was the first to meet GoM members to present his views on issues related to bifurcation and formation of separate Telangana state.
This was followed by BJP state president G Kishan Reddy and another party leader K Haribabu making their presentation before the panel. Communist Party of India (CPI) state secretary K Narayana and Jalli Wilson also met the GoM.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Defence Minister A K Antony, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy heard the views of the representatives of the two parties.
Each party got 20 minutes to make their presentations before the GoM. The ministers also sought clarifications with regard to some issues. The GoM later in the day would hear leaders of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Congress. The five parties had submitted their reports to GoM on its terms of reference.
The ministerial group has invited Telugu Desam Party (TDP), YSR Congress party and Communist Party of India (Marxist) tomorrow. The three parties had not submitted their reports to the GoM.
Mr Owaisi, a member of parliament from Hyderabad, told reporters that Hyderabad as common capital or Union Territory was not acceptable to his party. He also explained to the GoM that keeping law and order in Hyderabad and other subjects with the centre would be unconstitutional.
He demanded that a part of Hyderabad be made an interim capital of the two states with a clear timeframe to develop a new capital of Seemandhra.
The MIM chief, who submitted a supplementary memorandum to GoM, termed as ‘absolute rubbish’ that Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) people living in Hyderabad would face a threat after bifurcation.
Demanding protection for Muslims and Christians in Telangana, Owaisi claimed that they and not Seemandhra people face threat as Sangh Parivar and the BJP would grow stronger in the separate state.
BJP leader Kishan Reddy said they made it clear that the BJP stand for formation of Telangana state comprising 10 districts with Hyderabad as the capital.
They also wanted the centre to allay apprehensions of Seemandhra people. Mr Reddy was accompanied by Haribabu, a party leader from Seemandhra.
Mr Reddy also wanted to know from the GoM why they were seeking opinion of other parties without the ruling Congress party and the Central government spelling out their stand.
The CPI, which is also supporting formation of Telangana state, suggested a separate mechanism to maintain law and order in Hyderabad till a permanent capital for Seemandhra is developed.
CPI leader Narayana said they called for setting up development councils for development of Rayalaseema and north coastal Andhra regions and an expert committee for sharing of river water.