World Bulletin / News Desk
After 60 years of struggle, India has created a new state of Telangana by dividing the existing southern state of Andhra Pradesh (AP).
Despite protests from lawmakers opposed to the state's partition, the bill was passed into law in the Rajya Sabha (the upper house of the parliament) on Thursday evening.
"It’s a very happy day as the 60-year demand for the state of Telangana has been granted," Kamal Nath, ruling-Congress leader and federal minister for parliamentary affairs, said after the passing of the bill.
According to the "Andhra Pradesh State Re-organisation Bill," Hyderabad, the current capital city of AP will be the joint capital of both states for 10 years.
In a bid to allay the fears of those opposed to the creation of the Telangana state, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a six-point development package for Seemandhra, the wider region of Andhra Pradesh.
The residents of Telangana have opposed the AP merger, fearing unemployment due to the higher level of education and development in AP.
As Singh read out his statement during a parliamentary debate on the bill, lawmakers belonging to the Trinamool Congress Party, a regional party from West Bengal state, tore the papers up.
However, the Federal Government ensured that the bill was passed in the last session of the parliament, and before the country goes to poll in general elections in May 2014.
On Wednesday, Sonia Gandhi, Congress president and chairperson of the coalition-led government, met with the prime minister to demand a special status for the Seemandhra region for five years after the creation of the new state.
Singh also met Jaitley and other leaders of the opposition to evolve a consensus.
In 1956, the Telangana part of Hyderabad was merged with the AP state, while in 1969, the Telangana movement gained momentum under the leadership of late Marri Chenna Reddy, a former governor of Uttar Pradesh, and the Telangana Praja Samithi -- or the Telangana Peoples Association, the political party which fought for statehood for the Telangana region -- causing widespread violence and the death of more than 350 protesters.
The movement could not last long as Reddy went on to merge his party with the Congress Party and was eventually made chief minister by former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
The movement was revived again in 2001 when Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao quit the Telugu Desam Party and formed the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party to press ahead with the formation of the Telangana state.
In 2004, the Congress Party joined hands with Rao, promising separate Telangana but later backtracked.
In 2009, former federal home minister Palaniappan Chidambaram announced the creation of a separate Telangana state. However, the formation was delayed by the federal government at the time.Last Mod: 22 Şubat 2014, 10:10