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Countdown begins for Telangana birth

Hyderabad, May 28 (PTI): The countdown has begun for the formal bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Telengana and a new, smaller AP, on June 2.

As the mammoth task of dividing assets, liabilities and employees is under way, the bitterness that was witnessed in the run-up to the passage of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill in Parliament still continues.

The bifurcation has saddened some Seemandhra employees who face the prospect of moving to the residuary Andhra Pradesh as they have established themselves in Hyderabad.

”It is definitely painful if we have to move out now. We have built a home and children's education is midway,” a Seemandhra employee said.

A row has kicked up with Telangana employees unions demanding that 'nativity' be the criteria for dividing the staff and Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is all set to become the first Chief Minister of Telangana, asserting that those from Seemandhra should not work in Telangana Secretariat.

Noting that they fought for separate state as injustice had been done to the region in jobs, the Telangana supporters wonder what was the point in having achieved separate Telangana, if Seemandhra employees remained in Telangana government.

TRS has also set up a 'war room' in its office here to compile the list of Seemandhra employees who are working in Telangana. The 'war room' is equipped with a website and email facility to receive feedback.

The move has drawn the ire of Telugu Desam Party chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister-elect N Chandrababu Naidu who on Tuesday said what is required is not a “war room”, but a “peace room”.

He said harmony and brotherly relations should be ensured between the two sides so that both Telangana and (new) Andhra Pradesh can march ahead on the path of progress.

Apart from the division blues, the focus is also on finding a new capital for (new) Andhra Pradesh and speculation is rife that the capital would come up in the Vijayawada and Guntur region as it is centrally located in the residuary state.

Besides Vijayawada-Guntur, there have been demands from different groups to locate the capital in Visakhapatnam in north coastal Andhra, Kurnool and Tirupati in Rayalaseema.

Kurnool was the capital of Andhra state prior to the formation of Andhra Pradesh with Hyderabad as its capital.

However, an expert committee appointed by the Centre is going into the issue and the panel has toured different places in Seemandhra.

Naidu would reportedly take oath in the Vijayawada-Guntur area and function from there as Chief Minister, though there is no official confirmation.

As residuary Andhra Pradesh would begin its journey with a deficit budget, different people's organisations and individuals have been making monetary contributions to build the state and its capital.