Telangana: Compromise on the cards?
By Santwana Bhattacharya and U Anand Kumar | Published: 06th August 2013 09:54 AM |
The Monsoon Session of Parliament began Monday amidst protests over the Congress decision to carve a Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh. Shouted down from all sides, by its own Seemandhra MPs and the TDP, the government was forced to give a clarification that no discussion on Telangana was possible unless the Union Cabinet approves a note being prepared by the Home Ministry.
Nonetheless, it was perhaps, the most substantive statement on Telangana that has come from the government since the day the Congress announced its decision in favour of a Telangana state. It was left to Finance Minister P Chidambaram to make a suo motu statement in the Rajya Sabha, in the absence of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, that Parliament can have a “structured debate” but at an “appropriate time” of the government’s choosing.
“In the matter relating to the separate state of Telangana, the Constitution of India lays down a procedure for formation of new states. Besides, a number of substantive matters have to be addressed with the formation of a new state. These matters are under consideration of the government,” he said. Indirectly assuring Seemandhra, he said, “The Ministry of Home Affairs will bring a comprehensive note for the Cabinet containing both substantive and procedural issues for the decision of the Cabinet. These will include, but not limited to, sharing of river waters, generation and distribution of electricity, safety and security of all residents of all the three regions, guarantee of fundamental rights of all residents, etc.”
He could not make the statement in the Lok Sabha simply because the House was not in order. As soon as the House assembled, Seemandhra MPs from Congress and the TDP, besides some from Assam shouted slogans, flaunted banners and rushed to the Well either to oppose bifurcation of AP or to demand creation of Telangana-like new states. The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha had to be repeatedly adjourned.
Parliament turned into a protest zone, with members from Bodoland to Gorkhaland wanting their own little homelands. Sensing trouble, the government is toying with the idea of extending the session till September 3.