Sushil Kumar Shinde
New Delhi, Oct. 4: The Centre is not planning to create any more new states for now, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has indicated a day after the cabinet formally cleared statehood for Telangana.
“We have just considered Telangana; nothing more than that,” Shinde told reporters when asked about the demands for Gorkhaland and Bodoland states.
His comments come at a time the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which wants a Gorkhaland state carved out of Bengal, is awaiting tripartite talks later this month.
The Centre has also been holding talks with several groups from Assam that are variously demanding a Bodoland state, a Kamtapur state, and a hill state made up of areas with predominantly Karbi and Dimasa populations. Pramod Boro, president of the All Bodo Students Union, today arrived in New Delhi.
Shinde was confident the government would be able to placate the Union ministers from Andhra Pradesh who have protested against yesterday’s cabinet nod for a Telangana state.
Union tourism minister K. Chiranjeevi has faxed his resignation but it has not been accepted yet. Human resource development minister M. Pallam Raju has threatened to quit.
“They are our colleagues and we will see that they remain in the cabinet,” the home minister told reporters.
Shinde also spoke sympathetically of the agitation in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema but offered the protesters only “consolation” and not compromise.
“We will take them into confidence; we will try our level best. After all, wherever there is bifurcation of any state, such feelings are there. It is natural,” he said.
“No one can avoid these but we have to console them. We will try to console them.”
The Union home ministry has asked the Andhra Pradesh government to deal strictly with any threat to law and order.
Shinde played down fears that the Maoist menace may exacerbate with the creation of a Telangana state, a PTI report said.
“The Naxalite problem is there. But Andhra Pradesh is one state where we have done excellent work in curbing Naxalism. I am quite confident that even after the formation of Telangana, they will completely cut down the activities of Naxalites,” Shinde was quoted as saying.
Sources said the Prime Minister’s Office was finalising the terms of reference for the group of ministers formed yesterday to work out the details of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
“The terms of reference will be known by Tuesday, after which work on the Andhra Pradesh State Reorganisation Bill will go ahead in full swing,” a source said.