Congress Upbeat on Telangana
By Santwana Bhattacharya | ENS | Published: 31st January 2014 07:04 AM |
“The state Assembly has acted on expected lines. Where is the surprise? It will not pose any constitutional hurdle. Parliament will duly take up the Bill to create Telangana when its meets beginning February 5, the last session of the 15th Lok Sabha,” AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh told Express.
Making a fine distinction between rejection of the T-bill and a nod for the CM’s notice (rejecting the division of the state), he said Andhra Pradesh Assembly has not rejected the Telangana Bill.
“It was not voted on. A resolution moved by Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy was passed by voice vote. What was required of the state Assembly -- a debate and registration of its comments -- has been fulfilled,” he said.
Calling it a “procedural matter”, the Congress veteran said the state Assembly has proposed over 9,000 amendments. “Now, the Group of Ministers on Telangana will look into them and incorporate the reasonable suggestions before Parliament votes on it. We are going by the book,” he said.
An outright rejection of the Centre’s proposal for reorganisation of Andhra Pradesh by the state Assembly could pose a moral-ethical hurdle for the President, if not constitutional. The Bill is expected to be returned to the President in a few days time. Sources indicated that President Pranab Mukherjee might take a legal opinion on the issue. The state Assembly’s resolution, however, is not binding on Parliament. The constitutional provisions under Article 3 give Parliament supremacy in the creation of a new state in the Indian Union.
Meanwhile, sources said, the Congress has already begun talks with the BJP to evolve bipartisan support for the passage of the T-bill in Parliament. The government might incorporate some of the amendments suggested by the main opposition party, they said.
The passage of T-bill in Parliament will pave the way for creation of Telangana, with 10 districts carved out of the existing Andhra Pradesh. It will be India’s 29th state. If the Bill is passed in the coming session as expected, the next general and state Assembly polls will take place on the lines of the division.
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