New Delhi: In a U-turn on Thursday, the UPA government withdrew the proposal of Rayala Telangana state and stuck to Telangana with 10 districts, latest reports said.
NDTV, quoting sources, reported that the government took the decision fearing protests from senior Congress leaders and other political parties. However, the Cabinet, which is supposed to meet at Thursday evening, will take a final call.
Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram made it clear that the Union Cabinet has already approved Telangana and there were no plans to form Rayala Telangana.
Speaking media persons after attending the Congress Core Committee meeting here, Chidambaram described the reports in media about Rayala Telangana as false and baseless. “Where is Rayala Telangana and who said it? What we will do if the media writes stories without checking facts?” he asked.
Chidambaram said that the Centre has already cleared the proposal for formation of Telangana State with 10 districts and there were no changes in the plan.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi held consultations with top party leaders here. The decision to withdraw the Rayala Telangana proposal seems to have come out from this meeting.
The meeting of the Congress core group took place ahead of the meeting of the Union Cabinet which is expected to take a decision on the Telangana issue.
Rayala-Telangana envisages adding Anantapur and Kurnool districts to the proposed state of Telangana. The idea was suggested by some Congress leaders as a way to address problems like water sharing that are involved in the division of Andhra Pradesh.
A delegation of Congress and TRS MPs from Telangana region met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday and conveyed their apprehensions over inclusion of the two districts with the proposed Telangana state.
“We called on the Prime Minister to urge him to carve out the new (Telangana) state as per the decision of CWC,” said Ponnam Prabhakar, Congress Lok Sabha member from Karimnagar. We have emphasised that Telangana should have only 10 districts, he added. The delegation comprised nine MPs, including two from Rajya Sabha.
Indications after the Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting on Telangana on Wednesday were that the issue of creation of Rayala Telangana was still open and it was for the Cabinet to take a final decision.
Read here: Telangana bandh hits normal life
Meanwhile, a bandh called by TRS against the Rayala Telangana proposal hit the normal life in the Telangana region on Thursday. The pro-Telangana students of Osmania University in Hyderabad attacked security personnel with stones prompting them to lob tear gas shells, after the protesters were prevented from taking out a rally from the varsity.