GoM on Andhra bifurcation to study suggestions

IANS

New Delhi/Hyderabad, Oct 19 (IANS) The government has received around 2,000 email suggestions related to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh which would be placed before the Group of Ministers, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Saturday.

"The centre has received around 2,000 email suggestions related to bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and has asked them to be sorted out department wise for the consideration of the Group of Ministers," he said in New Delhi.

The emails have been received after the government sought public opinion on how to go about bifurcating Andhra Pradesh.

Shinde said the government has also directed "the secretaries of various union ministries to prepare detailed reports in consultation with secretaries of Andhra Pradesh government related to the terms of reference of the GoM" to be taken up in its next meeting Nov 7.

The GoM has been set up to look into the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and create a separate Telangana.

In the second meeting of the GoM Saturday, the panel discussed its terms of reference which include division of finances, staff, natural resources like water, power besides other assets.

Though it is proposed that Hyderabad would be with Telangana and would act as a joint capital of the two states till the residual Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions (Seemandhra) get a new capital, the Seemandhra people are very touchy about giving up the prized city.

The panel also examined the proposed division of political constituencies, said sources.

Barring Defence Minister A.K. Antony, who is not keeping good health, all the six ministers attended the second meeting of the panel.

Antony and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram could not attend the first meeting of the panel on Oct 11.

Among those who attended the meeting were Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy.

Earlier, four MPs of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from Seemandhra staged a protest against the GoM meeting by trying to stop Shinde.

The MPs staged the protest when Shinde arrived for the meeting. Raising slogans of "we want justice" and "save Andhra Pradesh", they wanted to know from the home minister how GoM can decide the future of the state by sitting in Delhi.

One of the MPs N. Sivaprasad said the ministers should visit the state to know what people feel about the decision to bifurcate the state.

In Hyderabad, Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan also criticized the manner in which GoM was proceeding with the process of bifurcation.

"How can they decide the future of a large state like Andhra Pradesh by sitting in Delhi," he asked.

After more than two months, normalcy returned in Seemandhra with government employees Friday returning to their duties.

Government offices in all 13 districts of Seemandhra re-opened after 66 days as over 400,000 employees resumed work, a day after they decided to call off the indefinite strike over the central government's decision to bifurcate the state.

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