Millennium Post

Telangana Bill crosses last hurdle, sent to President

Telangana Bill crosses last hurdle, sent to President
The Bill will now be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for his approval and notification of the creation of the new state. Following the passage of the bill, celebrations broke out in various parts of the twin cities of Hyderabad-Secundrabad as pro-Telangana supporters burst fire crackers and distributed sweets.

Before the bill was passed at around 8.05 pm, PM Manmohan Singh announced on the floor of the House special packages for Seemandhra region, saying the resource gap that may arise in the successor state of Andhra Pradesh in the very first year will be compensated in the regular union budget for 2014-15.

Participating in the debate, leader of Opposition in RS Arun Jaitley slammed the UPA government for mishandling of the issue. On the context of fiscal measure, he said, ‘The bill already stipulates that the central government shall take appropriate fiscal measures, including offer of tax incentives to the successor states in order to promote industrialisation and economic growth in both the states. These incentives will be along the lines extended to some other states.’

He claimed that the development package will be on the lines of the K-B-K (Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi) Special Plan in Odisha and the Bundelkhand special package in MP and UP respectively.

While agreeing to further amendments ‘if needed’ to facilitate the smooth and full Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) for the Polavaram project, the PM said, ‘Our government will execute the Polavaram project. Let there be no doubt about it.’ The House saw a series of adjournments with unruly members continuing to stall proceedings. The situation worsened when home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde stood to table the bill and TDP and TMC MPs tried to prevent him from doing that. Congress members had to form a ring around him.

Sensing unpleasant protest, the PM had met senior BJP leaders in the chamber of party veteran LK Advani earlier to work out an agreement. BJP leaders agreed but demanded special package for the Seemandhra region and 32 amendments to be incorporated into the bill.

The BJP also questioned the legal validity of the Telangana bill, which gives ultimate powers to the governor in law and order matters relating to Hyderabad.
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