The Union territory will be administered by a lieutenant governor. The governor of the Telangana state will be the ex-officio lieutenant governor of Hyderabad in these five years. A proposal to this effect is going to be put up to the Union cabinet before August 5.
The cabinet will meet after the Congress working committee and the UPA steering group approves a proposal to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. Highly placed sources privy to the proposals told TOI that the cabinet will also take a final call on whether to create Telangana or a Rayala-Telangana state. The former will consist of the ten districts of Telangana and the latter proposal envisages the addition of two Rayalaseema districts — Anantapur and Kurnool to the proposed Telangana state. Interestingly, the Andhra part of the bifurcated state will be called Andhra Pradesh.
Sources told TOI that Congress party bosses are hopeful of completing this process within a week because Parliament convenes for the monsoon session on August 6. A bill might be presented in this session itself. Meanwhile, with Kiran Kumar Reddy having already resigned, a new chief minister for integrated Andhra Pradesh to oversee the process of bifurcation will be appointed. In all likelihood the new incumbent will belong to Telangana. However with intelligence reports suggesting that there will be major trouble in the Seemandhra region in the wake of the announcement, it seems inevitable that President’s rule will be clamped in the state till the process of bifurcation is complete. Much of the trouble is expected to be fomented by interested parties although spontaneous outpourings are not unexpected.
Highly placed sources told TOI that when Kiran Kumar Reddy called on Sonia Gandhi on Friday evening and told her that he could not preside over the process of bifurcation, the latter was very angry. She is believed to have asked him why he had kept quiet for such a long time giving the impression that he would go along with the high command. Kiran’s resignation came at this meeting.
Sources told TOI that after meeting Sonia, Kiran flew back to Hyderabad and he has been ‘extremely depressed’ after that.
Seemandhra ministers including Union ministers who met Prime Minister on Saturday to convey their opposition to the bifurcation seemed crestfallen with Manmohan Singh hearing them out and promising nothing. However, the Seemandhra lobby has not lost heart because the last time round in 2009 it was Manmohan was instrumental in the government going back on its promise of creating a Telangana state after publically announcing the intent for doing so. They are expected to move the Prime Minister once again. The Seemandhra lobby is also hoping that with the Gorkhaland issue coming upfront some sections of UPA may help to stall the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
However, it seems doubtful if the upcoming session of Lok Sabha will be able to clear the Telangana bill. This is because the BJP which has already committed to Telangana may disrupt the proceedings of the house. One of the reasons is that the passage of the bill (which the BJP will be forced to support) will politically benefit the Congress.
The Congress thinking is that the bifurcation will put it in a vantage position in Telangana that has 17 Lok Sabha seats. With the Telangana Rashtra Samiti’s unofficial nominees not performing well in the ongoing party less panchayat polls and the Congress’s unofficial candidates doing well, has given hopes to the party.
Meanwhile more details about the meeting that Kiran Kumar had on Friday with Digvijaya Singh and Ghulam Nabi Azad are emerging. Sources say that Kiran and Azad had a virtual slanging match with the former accusing Ghulam of coming up with the proposal of Rayala Telangana. Kiran found the proposal to be highly objectionable.