New Delhi: A meeting of the Group of Ministers or GoM, headed by Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, on carving out Telangana remained inconclusive today because of the absence of senior ministers P Chidambaram and AK Antony. Meanwhile, there was high drama as cops evicted Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu after his five-day long fast at Delhi's Andhra Bhavan.
Here are the latest developments:
- The empowered Group of Ministers, now scheduled to meet on October 19, has assured the people of Andhra Pradesh that full justice will be done while drafting the guidelines of bifurcating the state to create India's 29th state.
- The terms of reference for the GoM include determining the boundaries of the new state of Telangana and the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh with reference to the electoral constituencies, judicial and statutory bodies, and other administrative units.
- Sources said the GoM is not in favour of giving the Union Territory status to Hyderabad, the state capital which is at the heart of the bitter Telangana-Seemandhra divide. The IT city will be a common capital between the two states for 10 years. Sources also said the senior ministers are in favour of the Seemandhra leaders deciding on their own capital.
- The government is also reportedly contemplating a special financial package for the Seemandhra region, which is witnessing massive protests over the Centre's decision announced last week.(Live updates)
- The GoM will also elicit responses from water, finance, road transport and infrastructure departments in Andhra Pradesh to work out the division of their assets once Telangana is created, sources said.
- Sources said the Group of Ministers has no plans to visit Andhra Pradesh for now, and will ground its discussions on the Sri Krishna Commission report which favoured the creation of Telangana. Besides Mr Shinde, Mr Chidambaram and Mr Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, M Veerappa Moily and Jairam Ramesh are the other members of the GoM while Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, V Narayanasamy, is a special invitee.
- At the Andhra Bhavan in the national capital, cops today evicted Telugu Desam Party chief Chandrababu Naidu, who has been fasting for five days over the Telangana decision. A large number of party workers protested as Mr Naidu was taken to a hospital.
- Meanwhile, more than 30,000 power sector employees in coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema regions, collectively known as Seemandhra, returned to work early morning today after a crippling week-long strike to protest the formation of Telangana.
- The employees have, however, warned that their decision is based on a commitment to assist the state as it braces to face the fury of cyclonic storm Phailin, likely to hit coastal Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on Saturday evening.
- With the situation improving on the ground, curfew in violence-hit Vizianagaram town of Visakhapatnam district has been relaxed for nine hours today to facilitate people to purchase essential commodities.