A meeting of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Coordination Committee has reportedly been called on July 31 to take the Congress allies on board before any announcement is made even as the party negotiates stiff opposition from its Andhra Pradesh ministers opposed to the bifurcation of the state.
It is evident now that the creation of Telangana will not be a cake walk for the ruling UPA. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has categorically said that he won't be a party to the division of his state.
15 Congress ministers wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi yesterday threatening to resign if Andhra Pradesh is bifurcated. The agitating ministers also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The five-decade struggle for a Telangana state gathered fresh impetus with an aggressive campaign by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi or TRS, headed by K Chandrasekhara Rao. In 2009, he fasted for 10 days, triggering huge rallies of support.
In response, in December 2009, in a surprise announcement, the Centre said it was sanctioning statehood. But within days, the government backtracked. Months of violent protests followed from the other two regions, forcing the government to suspend its decision.
At the heart of the tug-of-war is Hyderabad, and its robust IT-driven economy. Telangana wants to claim Hyderabad as its state capital. As a compromise, the Centre is reportedly in favour of making the city a shared capital between the new and old state for the next five or 10 years.