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Srikrishna panel on Telangana; says Telangana regional council best option
New Delhi/Hyderabad, Jan 6 (IANS):
Published on 7 Jan. 2011 12:38 AM IST
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The much-awaited Srikrishna Committee report unveiled Thursday said the demand for a separate Telangana was “not entirely unjustified” and ruled that the best options in the present circumstances were giving the region that includes Hyderabad an autonomous council or breaking up Andhra Pradesh for good.
The committee’s findings were made public by Home Minister P. Chidambaram in New Delhi at a meeting of political parties from the state that was boycotted by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), BJP and the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
While Chidambaram urged political parties to consider the 461-page report “with an open mind” and said a second all-party meeting would be held soon, TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao declared that people would not agree to anything short of a Telangana state with Hyderabad as its capital. “I am requesting the prime minister to abide by the statement he made in parliament and the assurance given by the government” promising a separate Telangana, he said in Hyderabad. The BJP also pressed for formation of the new state. “The state should be formed at the earliest... Delay is not in the interest of the country,” party spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters in New Delhi.
The Congress had a varying response at the meeting. While party legislator from Telangana region Uttam Kumar Reddy favoured option five in the summary of the report which talks of carving out a separate state of Telangana with its capital as Hyderabad, the other party representative, MP K.S. Rao said the panel had gone into a number of issues including river sharing, education and development and all parties should consider the report before giving their opinion.
The issue of a Telangana state, raised many times in the past too, has divided Andhra Pradesh. Even leaders of TDP and Congress from the backward region of 10 districts have come out in its support. The report has given six options but laid thrust on the last two. The most favoured way out, listed sixth in the report, talks about keeping the state united and taking constitutional and statutory measures for the socio-economic development and political empowerment of Telangana region.
This, it said, could be done by setting up a statutory and empowered Telangana Regional Council with adequate transfer of funds, functions and functionaries. It said the “second best option” - listed fifth in the report- was to bifurcate the state into Telangana and Seemandhra with existing boundaries with Hyderabad as the former’s capital. Seemandhra would have a new capital. The report of the Srikrishna Committee, constituted in February last year, comprises two volumes and nine chapters. Chidambaram urged political parties to consider the report “with an open mind”. He said the committee had given six options but “rejected the first three choices as not practical”.
He asked parties, groups and individuals to “show adequate respect to the labour of the committee” and told them not to reach “instant conclusions”. Chidambaram said another meeting of political parties from Andhra Pradesh would be held by the end of this month.He said the parties which met Thursday had agreed to discuss the report within their parties and “form their final view”. Chidambaram “deeply regretted” the boycott by some political parties.

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