Realizing that Hyderabad is becoming a major bone of contention between the regions, the party high command wants to spread more confusion by championing the three state theory.
Congress sources claimed that this is one of the options that is being considered and is part of the report that PCC president Botsa Satyanarayana submitted to the high command last week.
The sources claimed the trifurcation of the state would eliminate all the claims of other regions over Hyderabad as it is not possible to keep the city as the joint capital for three states. Even though Seemandhra leaders are getting ready to meet Azad as a team from Samaikhyandhra, Azad told the media in New Delhi on Thursday that he had invited separate groups from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra.
He indicated that it would be a five-member team from Rayalaseema and 10-member team from Coastal Andhra. According to sources, Azad had already been briefed about the latent demand for separate Rayalseema and that the high command wants to use it to counter the Telangana demand.
PCC president Botsa Satyanarayana is said to have submitted a report to Azad last week on different views of party leaders on the division or keeping the state undivided. The confidential report is said to have categorically mentioned that Rayalaseema people would not like to sail with Andhra region in case there was any division. Botsa had reportedly indicated in his report that the separate Rayalaseema demand would surge forth once the high command takes a decision in favor of carving Telangana state.
Lending credence to this view, minor irrigation minister T G Venkatesh, a vocal opponent of the division of the state, said he would go in for separate Rayalaseema state if the division was ‘thrust on us’. Venkatesh, who represents Kurnool, the then capital city of Andhra when it was separated from composite Madras state in 1953, says he has a solution for the present crisis in the state.
“Establishing three capitals for the three regions is the best option to avoid the division. When J&K has two capitals, why can’t we? Even Maharashtra has overcome the Vidharbha issue by deciding to convene the Assembly from Nagpur for three months,” he said.
Elaborating the concept, he said three capitals would develop into independent cities in ten years time. “Let us review the situation after ten years. Since every region has a separate capital, division of the state, if people wanted, would not be a painful decision, at least as painful as it feels now,” he said.
Venkatesh said he wants to present a separate report on his plan to Azad when the Samaikhyandhra leaders meet Azad in August. “We want to meet Azad as a Samaikhyandhra team. Then, I would give a presentation on my views on Rayalaseema. If Azad insists on separate Rayalseema, first I want to present my plan for keeping the state united and later opt for trifurcation if the division is inevitable,” he said.
Stressing the need for a second capital in Rayalaseema as compensation for its loss in 1956, Venkatesh added that he would demand an economic package for Rayalaseema if one was announced to Telangana. Education minister S Sailajanath also said there would not be a separate Rayalaseema team for talks with Azad. “We all will participate as the team of Samaikhyandhra peoples’ representatives. If anybody wants to demand separate Rayalaseema, they can do so separately. Anything that leads to bifurcation of state is not negotiable,” Sailajanath said.
However, the T-leaders are firm on their demand. “We are not bothered about the number of states and their capitals. What we want is a Telangana state with Hyderabad as the capital,” said Nizamabad MP Madhu Goud Yaski. TOI