Pranab says no to request for Telangana deadline extension

President Pranab Mukherjee has set the stage for the tabling and passage of the Telanaga Bill in the upcoming session of Parliament. On Thursday, he turned down the request of Andhra Pradesh government to give them four more weeks to discuss the bill in state assembly. Mukherjee set 30 January deadline for sending the bill back to the Centre.

The union government wants to introduce the bill which would create the new state in the budget session of Parliament. This is the last time that Parliament will meet before the national elections, due in May. So if the bill is not cleared, Andhra Pradesh will remain undivided for the polls. That’s what many leaders from the state are desperate for, including state CM Kiran Kumar Reddy, who has declared that the state will not be divided on his watch. He had asked for four weeks more to debate the bill, which would have ensured that the proposal would not be considered by Parliament before the elections.

The feedback of the AP  assembly on the bill is not binding on the Centre. But if the bill is defeated in the state legislature, the Congress could find it tough to get the proposal cleared in Parliament.

The demand for four-week extension did not find favour with home ministry, as by the time this period would end on 20 February, the forthcoming two-week session of Parliament would be over. Accepting the home ministry’s advice to only grant a reasonable extension, possibly by a week to 10 days, the President on Thursday cleared the file.
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