AMARAVATI: The Centre has once again poured cold water on the hopes of political parties in the State by reiterating that there was no proposal to increase the number of seats in the AP and Telangana Legislative Assemblies.
Replying to a query from TDP member TG Venkatesh in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram explained that increasing the number of Assembly seats requires an amendment to the Constitution, which he pointed out, may not be possible in the near future.
Hansraj Gangaram had made a similar statement in Parliament in July this year. The Minister on Wednesday informed the House that the issue was taken up with the Ministry of Law and Justice, which in turn, sought the opinion of the Attorney General. “The AG opined that as per Article 170 (3) of the Constitution, the total number of seats in the Assembly of each State shall not be readjusted till the first Census is published post the year 2026.
Therefore, unless Article 170 is amended to bring it in line with Section 26 of the AP State Reorganisation Act, 2014, the number of seats cannot be increased,” he said.
All the political parties in both the Telugu-speaking States have been expecting an increase in the number of Assembly constituencies from 175 to 225 in Andhra and from 119 to 153 in Telangana ever since the State was divided because the Reorganisation Act had made a provision for it.
In Andhra Pradesh, the ruling TDP has accommodated a number of leaders from the Opposition YSRC promising them party tickets for the seats that are expected to be created.
But with the Centre saying it may not be possible unless Article 170 is amended, anxiety has gripped the “defectors’ about their future.