At a time when the Telangana debate takes the centre-stage in view of the resignations by nearly 100 elected representatives of all hues from the region, former home secretary G K Pillai said Hyderabad was always considered as part of Telangana and that there was no concrete move to accord a special status for it.
“Discussions did take place with regard to Hyderabad, but there was no serious consideration to accord it a special status or grant Union Territory status (a la Chandigarh) as it was perceived that would cause more problems than resolve the existing ones,” Pillai told TOI on phone from New Delhi. Pillai superannuated last week.
The former Union home secretary also said that a decision on Telangana should have been taken by now, but added that the UPA government must have its own compulsions in not having resolved it till now. “It should be remembered that the Srikrishna Committee in its recommendations had put forth the sixth option (status quo with a regional council for the Telangana region) and the fifth option (division of the state into Telangana with Hyderabad as the capital and Andhra) as the best way out. In both these options, Hyderabad remains part of the Telangana region,” he said.
Pillai’s statement on December 10, 2009, made in Jammu when he was in the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir to conduct a security review meeting, that Hyderabad would be the capital of Telangana, had generated a controversy, coming as it did a day after Union home minister P Chidambaram announced that the UPA government was ready to initiate the process for the creation of Telangana. Immediately after that, those advocating an UT status for Hyderabad, like Congress leaders Danam Nagender and Mukesh Goud, had come out with statements that Hyderabad had a separate entity and could not be clubbed with the Telangana region.
Following the latest crisis triggered by the resignation by Congress, TDP, TRS, BJP and CPI MPs and MLAs belonging to the Telangana region, the status of Hyderabad has once again come to rattle both the pro-Telangana advocates and the Congress high command which is reluctant to address the issue at this juncture. “The distancing of city ministers and MLAs from the resignation drama and the indifference to the current phase of the agitation by the MIM, which considers Hyderabad as its stronghold, has made it clear that there is no unanimity on the status of the state capital between those advocating Telangana and those representing the interests of greater Hyderabad. And the Congress high command has sensed this and claimed that this was one of the reasons for its firm stance in not addressing the Telangana issue now,” said AICC sources. TOI