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Formation Of Andhra Pradesh On November 1, 1956

Andhra Pradesh (A.P) was the first India state to form on linguistic basis. It was formed on November 1, 1956 under the States Reorganization Act by merging the 9 Telugu-speaking districts of the then Hyderabad State with the 11 districts of the then Andhra State. The districts of Coastal Andhra, Telangana and Rayalaseema, comprising all the Telugu-speaking people, were merged to form the then new state of Andhra Pradesh. Sri Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was the first Chief Minister of the then newly formed state with Sri C.M.Trivedi as the appointed governor.

During the pre-independence era

During the pre-independence days, the regions of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema were a part of Madras Presidency which was a province under the British rule in the then British India. While Telangana was a part of Hyderabad State which was independently ruled by the Nizams of Hyderabad under the protection of British rule. Hyderabad State was the most important and rich native state that was under the direct administration of Governor General of India. The then Hyderabad State comprised of Telangana region with the Telugu-speaking people, 4 districts in the Gulbarga division (now in Karnataka) with the Kannada-speaking people and 4 districts of Aurangabad division (now in Maharashtra) with the Marathi-speaking people.

Hyderabad State, being an independent state was not directly under the British rule and was administered by independently made laws. While Madras Presidency which included the regions of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, was directly under the British administration. Accordingly, English was the official language of Madras Presidency while the official language of Hyderabad State was Urdu. Moreover, Hyderabad which was an independent state had its administrative system while the regions of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema being a part of Madras Presidency, followed the British administrative system.

In the post-independence period

When India became free from the British rule on August 15, 1947, the then Nizam of Hyderabad State who was an independent ruler of the state under the British, wanted Hyderabad to be declared as an independent country. The Nizam refused and was not willing to make Hyderabad a part of the Indian Union and he made his own efforts by approaching the United Nations Organization and made a plea for a separate country of Hyderabad.

On the other hand, the negotiations of Govt of India with the then Nizam of Hyderabad were not fruitful. The Govt of India was forced to launch an operation named 'Operation Polo' on Sept 13, 1948 and within five days Hyderabad was merged with the Indian Union on Sept 18, 1948. Thus formed the then state of Hyderabad and Sri M.K.Vellodi, a senior Indian civil servant, was the appointed Chief Minister of the state on January 26, 1950. The Nizam of Hyderabad designated as the Raj Pramukh of the state who held the post till the formation of Andhra Pradesh state on Nov 1' 1956.

After the first general elections in India in 1952, Dr. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao became the first elected Chief Minister of Hyderabad State.

Formation of Andhra Pradesh state

Even after few years of Indian independence, the regions in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema were under the Madras Presidency and the Telugu speaking people started their agitations for a separate statehood under the leadership of Potti Sriramulu who is revered as Amarajeevi by the Telugu people. He sacrificed his life for the cause of a separate Andhra State for the Telugu-speaking people in the then Madras Presidency. After his self-sacrifice on Dec 15, 1952, the agitations by the Telugu people in the Madras Presidency were intensified and after 3 days, the then Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru declared the intention of formation of a separate state of Andhra which was eventually formed on Oct 1, 1953 with the Telugu-speaking population in the 11 districts of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema by parting off from the then Madras State.

With the emergence of Andhra state in 1953, the long cherished demand for Visalandhra - a linguistic based state - strengthened. The Govt of India had set up the States Reorganization Commission in December 1953 under the chairmanship of Syed Fazl Ali. However, it was the then Congress High Command which was much in favor of Visalandhra formation and prevailed upon the leaders of the then state of Andhra and Telangana in sorting out the differences of the leaders of these regions and supported the formation of Andhra Pradesh state. Thus, the enlarged state was formed by the merging of 9 Telugu-speaking districts of the Telangana region which include Adilabad, Nizamabad, Medak, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar and Hyderabad, into Andhra State with the 11 districts of Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Nellore, Chittoor, Cuddapah, Anantapur and Kurnool.

The newly formed state with 20 districts was named as Andhra Pradesh with Hyderabad as its capital and was inaugurated on Nov 1, 1956 by the then Prime Minister of India Pt Jawaharlal Nehru.

Reference: www.aponline.gov.in

Update: On June 2, 2014 the northern western part (Telangana region) of Andhra Pradesh was separated from Andhra Pradesh to form the new state (29th state of the Indian Union) of Telangana.

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