Centre agrees to special status for Hyderabad-Karnataka region

The three-decade-long demand for special status for the backward Hyderabad-Karnataka (The Kannada districts of erswhile Hyderabad state) region will be a reality at last with the cabinet sub-committee on political affairs of the UPA government at the centre deciding to amend Article 371 of the Constitution to fulfil the demand.

Celebrations erupted in northern Karnataka even as the decision was made public in New Delhi on Friday. The Bill in this regard would be moved in the Monsoon Session of parliament starting on August 8.

The proposed bill would provide for according special status for the six North Karnataka districts — Gulbarga, Yadgir, Raichur, Bidar, Koppal and Bellary. The union cabinet is expected to clear the bill in its next meeting.

Sources said that the proposal prepared by the Union home ministry seeks amendment of the Article 371 to provide reservation in employment and education sector for the people of the backward Hyderabad-Karnataka region. It would also entitle the region for special development grants from the centre and the state governments to eradicate regional imbalance in terms of development.

The proposal is said to be an improved version of similar special status accorded to the backward Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh and Vidarbha region in Maharashtra.

Chief minister Jagadish Shettar, former chief minister Dharam Singh, KPCC president G Parameshwar and leaders from northern Karnataka representing various organisations and political parties have welcomed the decision.

The state government has been giving special emphasis for development of northern Karnataka by deciding to implement the Nanjundappa Committee report on regional imbalances in the state.

The union government’s decision would enable speedy development of the region which has been suffering due to poor education, health services and employment opportunities. The special reservation in jobs and education would help the youth of the region to realise their aspirations, said, Vaijanath Patil, leader of Hyderabad-Karnataka Horata Samithi, the organisation which has been leading an agitation for special status. [DNA]

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