Yet another twist is being given to the Telangana movement. The Union Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is also Congress Party incharge of Andhra Pradesh affairs is reported to have told party MPs, MLAs and ministers who handed over their resignations that no demand on separate Telangana state is possible without consulting about 35 per cent Muslim population of Hyderabad.
Though the Muslims of Telangana, like all other castes and communities of Andhra Pradesh are a divided lot on the issue, the decision of Hyderabad MP Assaduddin Owaisi and his party’s seven MLAs not to resign has given a fillip to this view within the Congress central leadership. Now instead of Union Territory like status to Hyderabad-Secunderabad a new Hong Kong like formula is being floated so that both the pro- and anti-Telangana faction are pleased with the arrangement.
Owaisi, who heads Majlis-e-Ittehad-e-Muslameen, is much in demand these days. Those championing the cause of united Andhra Pradesh are looking towards him with some hope. Similarly, Jagan Mohan Reddy has not opened his mouth on the issue yet.
Owaisi, some political observers feel, can help keep Hyderabad away from Telangana.
Owaisi also called on the chief minister to assure that his party was against Telangana.
But while Owaisi’s outfit is against separate Telangana another important Muslim organization, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, which has all India spread, is in favour of the separate state. Its Andhra Pradesh unit took decision in this regard a couple of years back. It also organized several rallies in Hyderabad on this issue. However, unlike MIM, Jamaat has its cadres outside Telangana too. There is uneasiness within the organization’s rank and file in these two regions.
Apart from Jamaat, several other influential individuals of the community support the Telangana demand. Osmania University has become the centre of agitation.
The champions of the pro-Telangana demand argue that Muslims will have a louder voice in the new state as their percentage would be high.
However, Owaisi and others who oppose it are of the view that the Sangh Parivar would be the beneficiary of this demand.
There are a large number of Hyderabadis, who have either come to settle there from the other two regions of Andhra Pradesh or from outside the state. They look at the whole development with suspicion.
The central leadership of Congress it toying with the idea of Hong Kong like status for Hyderbabd on the belief that minus this city, the pro-Andhra lobby will not oppose Telangana.
But those championing the cause of Telangana are not prepared to accept this offer as not only Hyderabad is situated in the centre of Telangana it is also the only big city. The problem now is that though the majority of the population of Hyderabad is from neighbouring Telangana districts its economy is controlled by those from Andhra. TimesWireService