|Shinde in Delhi on Saturday. Picture by Ramakant Kushwaha
New Delhi, Oct. 19: The group of ministers set up to look into the creation of a Telangana state held discussions today and asked central ministries and the Andhra Pradesh government to prepare a detailed report on the state’s proposed bifurcation.
“We asked the secretaries of the departments concerned to sit with officials of the Andhra Pradesh government and make a detailed report on the bifurcation,” Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told reporters after the meeting at North Block.
All the GoM members, except defence minister A.K. Antony, attended the meeting, the group’s second. The next meeting is scheduled for November 7.
The home minister said the GoM would look into the views expressed in over 2,000 emails from the public. “We have received around 2,000 emails giving us various information on the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. All these are being scrutinised,” he said.
Before the meeting, four Telugu Desam Party MPs had stopped Shinde outside North Block, demanding that representatives from the Joint Action Committee, which is protesting against the bifurcation, be included in the GoM.
“We told him don’t take decisions sitting in air-conditioned rooms. You should come to Andhra Pradesh to understand the situation there. Not one of the seven ministers is from Andhra Pradesh and do not know anything about the state,” MP N. Siva Prasad said.
The MPs — the others were N. Kristappa, K. Narayan Rao and M. Venugopal Reddy — had flown to New Delhi to put their point across forcefully but did not appear to have achieved much as Shinde did not stop more than a minute to listen to them.
Shinde is known to have told the MPs that the GoM would consider the interests of all the people of Andhra Pradesh.
Shinde also said that Desam chief N. Chandrababu Naidu had given in writing his party’s “commitment” to the demand for a Telangana state.