The UPA Government on Friday decided to recommend to President Pranab Mukherjee imposing Central rule in Andhra Pradesh in the wake of incumbent N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s resignation on February 19. The Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, discussed the report of Governor E S L Narasimhan who has favoured imposition of President’s rule while keeping the 294-member state Assembly in suspended animation. The term of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly is slated to end on June 2.
While accepting the Governor’s recommendation, the Cabinet also approved several sops to soothe the agitating Seemandhra leaders who are opposed to the bifurcation of State. Along with the Governor’s recommendation, Union Cabinet cleared two important proposals - setting up three Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools (KVS) in Kadappa, Guntur and East Godavari and a National Institute of Design (NID) in Vijaywada of Seemandhra region.
Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh who played a key role in the bifurcation process also clarified that President is likely to give his assent to the AP Reorganisation Bill in a day or two. “After that an expert member committee will be formed to look into the issues like finding a capital for Seemandhra. As of now there are multiple claims and before taking a decision, the committee member will visit each of the cities from where representations will come to be looked into,” Ramesh said.
He also clarified that Seemandhara has been given special status for five years as all revenue of Hyderabad will go to Telangana. “The demand for providing special status to Seemandhara did not come from BJP but from Congress MPs and MLAs from the region, who had met Congress chief and vice-president,” he said.
A Minister, who attended the meeting, said several names like Vishakhapatnam, Kurnool, Tirupati and Vijaywada were suggested for the new capital of Andhra Pradesh and when the expert committee starts the process, these alternatives will be examined. According to AP Reorganisation bill the expert committee after studying the various alternatives will submit its report within 45 days.
Meanwhile, on the issue of assembly election, a senior official of Election Commission clarified that it is likely to be held along with upcoming Lok Sabha polls. “Since the term of the Assembly is ending on June 2, the EC will be well within its right to conduct polls as per the Constitution. There are other issues like adjustment of boundaries if necessary will be taken up later,” he said.