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PM set to approve roadmap for Telangana

By A Correspondent
January 29, 2010 12:08 IST
A six-point charter with terms and reference for a committee to lay a road map for Telangana is ready.

The file has been approved by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Law Minister M Veerappa Moily. It will be taken to the prime minister on Friday for final clearance.

The name of the judge likely to head the committee has also been finalised; only the tenure and headquarters of the committee remain to be resolved.

The government is believed to have informally spoken to two former Supreme Court judges. Justice B N Srikrishna is most likely to accept the post, according to highly placed sources.

Six major points have been shortlisted as the terms and conditions of the road map for Telangana. These points, which need to be comminicated to the judge before he gives his assent to head the committee, have been taken from policy statements Chidambaram has made in the last two months on the Telangana issue.

There were differences among the ministers at one point during the discussions. A senior minister felt the committee's chairman could frame the terms of reference, which did not go down well with the other ministers present at the meeting.

The Centre feels the Hyderabad issue should be left to the committee to decide. Whether it will serve as a dual capital for seven years or Andhra Pradesh would have a new capital with central financial assistance is still under consideration.

Impressing the importance of the charter, Chidambaram convinced the other ministers that the document would would satisfy both the pro-Telangana and pro-Andhra groups.

The charter will give the committee's chairman full power to choose his team; experts from the state's gas, oil, water, town planning and agriculture departments will be co-opted for a fixed tenure, sources said.

A Correspondent in New Delhi