Telangana Strike
A demonstrator shouts anti-government slogans during a protest demanding statehood for Telangana in Hyderabad, Sept. 20, 2011.REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder

Paving the way for the formation of a separate Telangana state in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the Congress Working Committee (CWC) unanimously endorsed Telangana statehood in separate meetings on Tuesday.

The Congress on Tuesday evening announced its decision endorsing the formation of Telangana state and the matter will now be referred to Andhra Pradesh assembly.

"We have kept in mind security, water issues, liabilities, etc. All this will be considered while drafting the Bill. Modalities will be worked out for division of assets, liabilities and water resources," All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary in charge of Andhra Pradesh Digvijaya Singh told reporters.

"The formation of Telangana cannot be compared to demand from states. Telangana will have 10 districts. In Hyderabad, there is adequate arrangement for both states to run their affairs for next 10 years."

The allies of UPA had earlier endorsed Telangana statehood in its meeting before the CWC discussed on the matter.

"The UPA unanimously decided in favour of Telangana," RLD leader and Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told reporters after the UPA meeting at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence.

The UPA and CWC made the decision in favour of Telangana despite Congress party leaders from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions strongly opposing the division of Andhra Pradesh state.

In a last minute attempt to convince the party high command against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister MM Pallam Raju met Sonia Gandhi. Talking to reporters later, Raju said, "We have expressed our concern, requested party high command to take a responsible decision."

Anticipating tension in the state in view of the announcement to be made by the Congress after the CWC meeting, the Union Home Ministry has sent in an additional 1,000 paramilitary personnel to the state in case violence breaks out. 1,200 paramilitary personnel have already been deployed in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.