Speaker N Manohar was flooded with written submissions from MLAs on either side of the divide on Friday, the last day for suggesting amendments to the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013.
Almost all the legislators from Telangana cutting across political lines displayed rare unanimity in suggesting amendments to contentious clauses such as keeping administrative powers (read law and order) over Hyderabad with the Governor whereas Seemandhra legislators came up with various proposals, some diametrically opposite to the others. Seemandhra Congress MLAs did not oppose the bill in toto and instead, pleaded with the Centre to merge Bhadrachalam division with the residuary State of AP in case division becomes inevitable. They also sought appropriate compensation to the residuary State for setting up a new capital.
A majority of the Seemandhra Congress MLAs also opposed Governor’s control over Hyderabad, claiming that “one has to follow proper procedure as per Article 249 for such a move. This provision is, therefore, not in tune with the basic structure of the Constitution. We propose that this clause be deleted.” They also objected to the proposal of setting up an ‘Apex Council’ to supervise sharing of river waters between the two proposed States, pointing out that the Centre has no such authority.
Raising suspicions that the Rayala Telangana proposal is still very much on the cards, Rural Development Minister Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao, a staunch Sonia loyalist, proposed an amendment to Clause 3 in the T Bill, suggesting merger of Anantapur and Kurnool districts of Rayalaseema with the Telangana State. He also suggested an amendment to a provision that deals with names of the states, saying, “The residuary state of AP should be named Telugu Nadu on the lines of Tamil Nadu giving recognition to the classical nature of the ancient Telugu language”.
However, Congress leaders from Rayalaseema such as Minister TG Venkatesh, who had earlier backed the Rayala Telangana proposal, chose to drop the demand.
Meanwhile, YSRC MLAs, including party floor leader YS Vijayalakshmi, opposed the bill in toto. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu chose not to submit any written pleas. According to sources, Kiran has decided to move amendments after delivering a spirited speech. CPM’s Julakanti Ranga Reddy, who is from Telangana, also preferred not to submit any written pleas.