Cutting across political lines, Seemandhra lawmakers are pinning their final hopes on Article 371(D), which provides for the zonal system in employment in the state, to stall state bifurcation.
Though Telangana leaders are saying repeatedly that Article 371(D) will not be a hurdle in the formation of T-state as it only deals with employment and educational opportunities, their Seemandhra counterparts are of the opinion that the Article requires the Centre to amend the Constitution, which they feel is not possible at this juncture, to get Parliament’s nod for division of AP.
Even chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and his close aides such as Sake Sailajanath, Ganta Srinivasa Rao and TG Venkatesh, and MP Lagadapati Rajagopal and Congress veteran Gade Venkata Reddy are reportedly banking on Article 371(D).
According to sources, the chief minister’s camp is exploring various options by consulting legal experts so as to file a petition in the apex court to stall the T-process.
TDP MLA Moves SC
TDP MLA Payyavula Kesav on Wednesday filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s T-decision by referring to Article 371(D), alleging that the Centre was trying to divide AP in haste by flouting Constitutional norms. The MLA urged the apex court to give clarity on Article 371(D).
It may be recalled that YSRC leader and industrialist Raghurama Krishnam Raju, relative of Congress MP KVP Ramachandra Rao, also approached the Supreme court recently against the Centre’s decision to bifurcate AP. His petition is still pending.
The apex court recently dismissed a public interest petition filed by PV Krishnaiah, a Hyderabad-based advocate, challenging the Centre’s T-decision. Krishnaiah argued that the Centre had no authority to invoke Article 3 (creation of new states) as long as Article 371(D) and the consequential Presidential Order are in force. Since 371(D) has already taken care of the interests of the people of Telangana, there is no need for bifurcation on the ground of alleged discrimination, he said. However, the apex court turned down his petition terming it as “premature”.
Meanwhile, as a part of their final efforts to stall state bifurcation, some Seemandhra Congress lawmakers headed by minister Sake Sailajanath are leaving for Delhi on Thursday.
The 40-member delegation is planning to call on President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to urge them to suspend the process of bifurcation. The leaders are also likely to meet the AICC top brass.
However, there is no unanimity among these leaders on meeting the Group of Ministers. Some ministers like Sailajanath are against meeting the GoM as it would only amount to accepting bifurcation, while P Bala Raju and others want to meet the GoM to convey their demands in the event of division.
TDP MPs and MLAs from Seemandhra too have decided to undertake Delhi yatra to meet the President and the Prime Minister on Oct 25 and 26 respectively to plead with them to ensure that equal justice is done while bifurcating AP.