No hurdle in creation of Telangana, says Shinde; Kiran to stage dharna

Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Friday made it clear that there will be no hurdle in creation of Telangana during the tenure of UPA-II and the statehood bill will be passed in the coming session of Parliament beginning 5 February.

‘The bill will be passed. There will be no problem,’ he told reporters here when asked about the fate of Telangana in the wake of Andhra Pradesh legislature’s rejection of the proposed legislation. Shinde said the Central government has neither received the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill from the state Assembly nor the government has sought legal opinion from the Attorney General.

The home minister’s statement came a day after Andhra Pradesh assembly rejected the Telangana Bill by voice vote, capping days of acrimonious drama and embarrassing Congress, which favoured creation of the separate state. Experts are of the opinion that whatever the assembly did, Parliament can go ahead with its legislative process for creation of the new state.

Parliament session commences on 5 February and is scheduled to conclude on 21 February. This will be the last session before the tenure of the UPA-II comes to an end. The GoM, set up to look into the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, is likely to meet on 4 February to articulate the government’s view for recommending to President Pranab Mukherjee the next course of action.

Meanwhile, the home ministry has written to the prime minister’s pffice rejecting the contention of Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy that the bill is ‘not comprehensive’.

The ministry is also contemplating approaching Parliament seeking a date to table the bill, an official said.

This is apparently for the first time the Central government is going ahead with bifurcation of a state despite the state Assembly rejecting the move.

The assemblies of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh had passed resolutions in favour of creation of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh some 14 years ago.

Kiran to emulate Kejriwal by sitting at Jantar Mantar

Having successfully engineered the defeat of AP Reorganization Bill in the Andhra assembly, chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy now wants to emulate Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal by sitting on a dharna in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar against the division of Andhra Pradesh. The AP Non-Gazetted Officers Associations (APNGOS), led by P Ashok Babu, is scheduled to organise a protest in Delhi in support of a united Andhra and Kiran will take part in it, sources in the CM camp said. ‘The CM is likely to sit on a dharna in Delhi. We will also join him in the protest,’ Vijayawada Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal told reporters. While Lagadapati did not confirm the date, sources said the dharna will take place once Parliament is convened and takes up the Telangana bill for consideration. ‘Before that, the APNGOs would have mobilised the support of several national parties against the division of the state and there will be a combined effort to defeat the bill in the Parliament as was done in the state assembly,’ said sources.
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