UPA endorses separate Telengana state

According to the resolution passes by the Congress Working Committee (CWC), Hyderabad will be the common capital of the separated states for the next ten years.

HYDERABAD: The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) on Tuesday unanimously endorsed a separate Telangana state.

Congress' communication in-charge of the AICC, Ajay Maken and general secretary Digvijay Singh made the formal announcement in a press conference.

"Congress Working Committee (CWC) presided by Sonia Gandhi passed a resolution and resolved to form a separate state of Telangana, Hyderabad to be joint capital for 10 years for both states: Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said.

He added, "Hyderabad will be the common capital of the separated states for next ten years."

"Formation of Telangana has not been an easy decision, wide consultations have been done. Resolution asks Centre to assist Andhra government to maintain harmony in both states."

Digvijay denied that the formation of the new state was a political decision.

"Formation of state will take four to five months. This decision has no connection with elections. One cannot compare Telangana with other issues, this has been a long drawn issue, has been a long standing demand. No new elections, MLAs, MPs to be automatically transferred, IAS and IPS cadre officers to be able to pick states."

"The government will now refer the issue to state assembly of Andhra for an appropriate resolution. Meanwhile, Cabinet will appoint group of ministers to address the issues of people of Andhra and Telangana," he said. "After 10 years, Seemandhra will have a new capital city in place. Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha has to pass Telangana bill after which President has to pass bill."

The Congress general secretary added that the grievances of Seema Andhra have been considered in the resolution.

"Seema Andhra might be inconvenienced, but they are included in the resolution, all their grievances will be considered while drafting law for the new state," he said.

Telangana will be 29th state in the country. It will be the 12th largest state in the Indian union.

Telangana demand genuine: BJP

The demand for Telangana received a boost as the country's second biggest political party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) backed the formation of the separate state.

BJP president Rajnath Singh said the demand for a separate state of Telangana is genuine and should be fulfilled.

"The demand of the people of Andhra for a separate Telangana state is genuine and should be fulfilled. The demands of the Joint Political Action Committee, the demands of the BJP there for a separate state of Telangana should be fulfilled," he informed the media.

Telangana will set a dangerous trend: Omar Abdullah

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the formation of a state based on an agitation will set a "dangerous trend". He said a wrong message will be sent if the state is created.

Security was tightened in Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra regions) to tackle any situation.

Police and paramilitary forces in Andhra Pradesh, especially in Seemandhra and Hyderabad were on high alert in view of a possible decision on separate statehood to Telangana region.

Earlier, among the main UPA constituents apart from the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party president and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has already made a strong pitch for the formation of Telangana and Rashtriya Lok Dal chief and civil aviation minister Ajit Singh is a votary of smaller states. (With inputs from agencies)