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Telangana bill for Assembly in December

New Delhi: The Centre has buttressed its Telangana plan of action. As per the plan, the Speaker will convene a special session of the Assembly in the second week of December for getting a resolution for the bifurcation of the State passed in the House.

Prior to that, decks will be cleared for President Pranab Mukherjee to forward the Union Cabinet-approved Telangana Bill to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.

According to the Constitution, even if the State Assembly rejects the proposal of bifurcation, the Centre has the ultimate say. Following the AP Assembly's decision, which is a mandatory formality, the Government will table the Bill on Telangana in the Winter Session of Parliament that will be underway then. The Winter Session is scheduled to start on December 5 and end on December 20.

Sources do not rule out the possibility of the session being extended by a few more days for the passage of the Telangana Bill. But at the same time, they also maintained that these strategies will fall in place only if there's a consensus on the issue with the principal Opposition party BJP and will depend on the law and order situation in the Seemandhra region.

According to senior officials working on the separate Statehood issue, the Congress wants to finish the entire bifurcation process before the Election Commission's notification for next year's General Elections to Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh.

The Election Commission's notification is expected by February-end or March first week next year. The elections are expected to be scheduled in April-May.

'Congress wants the Telangana votes in the General Elections,' they said. With its prospects in Seemandhra looking bleak, the Congress is pinning its hopes on compensating the losses in Telangana.

The residuary State's name will be retained as Andhra Pradesh despite suggestions for naming it Seemandhra, the sources said, adding Hyderabad would be the joint Capital.

The matter would be taken up in next week's Cabinet meeting. However, it will be in the next Cabinet meeting in the first week of December that a final decision will be taken on the issue, sources said.

Strategies are being put together even as Hyderabad was the bone of contention at a meeting Union Ministers from Seemandhra and Telangana had with the GoM on Telangana.

For his part, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who also met the GoM, reiterated that the State's bifurcation would 'create bigger problems'.

Union Minister V Kishore Chandra Deo, representing Araku Lok Sabha constituency in Seemandhra, opposed any move to make Hyderabad the 'common Capital' and urged the GoM to make Visakapatanam the Capital of residual Andhra Pradesh. Some others like JD Seelam demanded Union Territory status for Hyderabad.

However, their counterparts from Telangana region like Jaipal Reddy said the new State will be 'incomplete' without Hyderabad. Another Union Minister from the region too echoed similar views.

Kiran Reddy told reporters that it is not just a security concern for Hyderabad, Telangana or Andhra, but to the whole nation. 'Most of the Naxal leaders in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Odisha belong to Andhra Pradesh,' he said. Reddy also raised apprehensions that Seemandhra region, which is a lower riparian region, would lose its right to use surplus water from Krishna River.

As things stand, Chandrababu Naidu's TDP has boycotted the GoM's meetings with eight major political parties of the State. Jaganmohan Reddy's YSR Congress and CPI(M) have opposed the State's bifurcation.

The BJP, CPI and TRS have supported the creation of Telangana even as the Congress leadership at the Centre and State maintained contradicting opinions.

News Posted: 19 November, 2013
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