Cabinet clears Telangana bill, no UT status to Hyderabad

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Telangana-Express1New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI): Notwithstanding opposition from within Congress and outside, the Union Cabinet today cleared the Telangana Bill which will be introduced in Parliament on February 12.

The controversial bill will be presented in the Rajya Sabha in the present form and the government will move 32 amendments when it is taken up for consideration.

The proposed legislation does not provide for grant of Union Territory status to Hyderabad despite demands but the government will announce a special package for Rayalaseema and north coastal Andhra to address concerns of the people there.

The Cabinet cleared the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill after a special marathon meeting which was followed by a meeting of the Congress Core Group headed by party President Sonia Gandhi. AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh, who is in-charge of Andhra Pradesh, was a special invite at the meeting.

At the Cabinet meeting, NCP chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who had earlier made a strong pitch for Telangana, questioned whether the law and order powers being given to Governor are according to the Constitution.

Although he endorsed the bill, he wanted to know what is being done for the new capital of Seemandhra, sources said.

He was told all the cost will be taken care of by the Centre.

Union Minister Pallam Raju, who along with other colleagues from the Seemandhra region, has been opposing division of the state, unsucessfully batted for UT status for Hyderabad.

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