Telangana a reality, asserts Shinde; May not be so, claims CM
A day after ruling out the possibility of imposing President’s Rule in Andhra Pradesh, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Thursday indicated it could be an option if the situation in Seemandhra takes a turn for the worse.
Asked if the UPA government is planning President’s Rule in the State, Shinde replied, “that I cannot say now.” He maintained Telangana is now a reality and the Union Cabinet decision final. “I do not think there is any possibility of going back to the decision to create Telangana,” he said.
Hours later, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy almost contradicted him in an interview to a TV channel. He claimed the Congress leadership might reconsider its decision. “In a democracy, every political party has to respect public opinion,” he pointed out and went on to add, “Some party leaders have misled the high command. Hence, it has arrived at the T decision thinking there wouldn’t be opposition from Seemandhra. But, the ongoing agitation is perplexing our party leadership.”
Even if bifurcation was inevitable, the Constitutional process will take at least two-three years, he observed. However, Shinde gave exactly the opposite impression. Without revealing the time-frame for finalising the Telangana Bill, Shinde said the Group of Ministers will submit its report as early as possible and claimed that was the reason why no time-frame had been set.
He also played down the controversy over the exclusion of Pallam Raju from the GoM.
Speaking at a press conference, Shinde said justice will be done to Seemandhra. On the process ahead, he explained that after the GoM’s suggestions, the Home Ministry will prepare another Cabinet note with the Re-organisation bill for further approval of the Union Cabinet and recommendation to the President to refer the bill under Article 3 of the Constitution to the State Legislature for its views.
Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly as well as Legislative Council will then consider the bill and give their views within 30 days. Asked what would be the fate of Telangana if the Assembly does not adopt the resolution and rejects the proposed move, Shinde said as per the Constitution, Assembly resolution was not mandatory.
Shinde said recommendations and suggestions forwarded by the State legislatures will be incorporated into the draft Re-organisation bill and vetted by the Law Ministry. Subsequently, a third Cabinet note will be prepared with the draft-reorganisation bill seeking Cabinet approval for introduction in Parliament.
Both, Defence Minister AK Antony and Finance Minister P Chidambaram will not be able the attend the first GoM meeting on Friday. However, all the members are likely to be present at its next meeting on October 17 when a policy document will also be circulated among them. Sources said Seemandhra Union Ministers met Shinde to discuss the issues which will come before the GoM on Friday.