Thursday, December 30, 2010

Srikrishna panel submits report on Telangana

New Delhi: Justice c committee on the Telangana statehood issue submitted its report on the feasibility for carving out a separate state out of Andhra Pradesh to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday.After receiving the two-volume report Chidambaram said that the Srikrishna committee recommendations on Telangana will be discussed with the political parties and added that it will be made public on January 6, 2011.\"The Government will look at the report and do consultations with political parties. Letters inviting political parties are being sent. Immediately after the meeting with eight recognised parties, the report will be made public on January 6, 2011.After the report is made public, media should report the contents in the right direction. I seek cooperation from media once the report is made open,\" said Chidambaram after Justice Srikrishna presented him the report at his North Block office.

Telangana region consists of 10 districts including Warangal, Adilabad, Khammam, Mahabubnagar (its biggest district), Nalgonda, Rangareddy, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Medak and Hyderabad.

The Congress has 21 MPs from Andhra Pradesh and 12 of them are from Telengana region. The state elects 33 Lok Sabha MPs. The 12 Telengana MPs belonging to the Congress are under pressure to quit over the issue of a separate state for the region.

However, Andhra MPs from coastal and Rayalseema region of the state are agitating for a united state, worried about losing out on the rich Telangana areas.

The Congress\' official position is that it favours small states but with a national consensus. Unofficially, though, the Congress is worried there would be a rise in similar demands for smaller states like Gorkhaland and Harit Pradesh if Telangana is created.

The five-member committee, headed by former Supreme Court chief justice BN Srikrishna, also included former union home secretary Vinod Duggal, IIT Delhi professor Ravindar Kaur, International Food Policy Research Institute Senior Research Fellow at New Delhi Office Dr Abusaleh Sharif and National Law University Vice-Chancellor, Jodhpur, Prof (Dr) Ranbir Singh.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had on Wednesday night convened a hour-long meeting attended by Chidambaram, Law Minister Veerappa Moily, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister AK Antony, to discuss the security scenario in light of submission of report.

Terms of reference of Srikrishna Committee included:

(1) To examine the situation in the State of Andhra Pradesh with reference to the demand for a separate State of Telangana as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of a united Andhra Pradesh.

(2) To review the developments in the State since its formation and their impact on the progress and development of the different regions of the State.

(3) To examine the impact of the recent developments in the State on the different sections of the people such as women, children, students, minorities, other backward classes, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

(4) To identify the key issues that must be addressed while considering the matters mentioned in items (1), (2) and (3) above.

(5) To consult all sections of the people, especially the political parties, on the aforesaid matters and elicit their views; to seek from the political parties and other organisations a range of solutions that would resolve the present difficult situation and promote the welfare of all sections of the people; to identify the optimal solutions for this purpose; and to recommend a plan of action and a road map.

(6) To consult other organisations of civil society such as industry, trade, trade unions, farmers\' organisations, women\'s organisations and students\' organisations on the aforesaid matters and elicit their views with specific reference to the all round development of the different regions of the State.

(7) To make any other suggestion or recommendation that the Committee may deem appropriate.

The committee was set up by Home Ministry after criticism of P Chidambram\'s announcement on December 9 last year that the Andhra Assembly would move resolution for formation of a separate Telangana state.

Chidambaram made the announcement when Telangana Rashtra Samithi Chief K Chandrashekar Rao had gone on a fast unto death. Rao had been on fast for 11 days before Chidambram made the statement.

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