Contrary to their Telangana counterparts, who showed a rare unanimity in suggesting amendments to the contentious clauses in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill- 2013, Seemandhra legislators have almost failed to arrive at an agreement on proposing uniform changes to the bill in accordance with their demand on the issue of bifurcation of the state. Seemandhra MLAs from the Congress, TDP and YSRC on Friday, which was the cut off date for receipt of proposals for amendments, handed over their written submissions to speaker N Manohar expressing their views on each clause of the T-bill along with their choice of amendments to the same. Several Seemandhra Congress legislators suggested amendments to the bill as per their personal choice.
For instance, minister Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao wanted Rayala Telangana state while some other MLAs wanted Hyderabad be made as Union Territory post-bifurcation. Seemandhra Congress MLAs, while opposing the bifurcation, pleaded with the Centre to merge Bhadrachalam division with the residuary state of AP in case of division. They also sought appropriate compensation to residuary state for setting up a new capital. A majority of Seemandhra Congress MLAs opposed keeping the administrative powers of law and order in Hyderabad with the governor, saying, “While making such central legislation to transfer powers to the governor, one has to follow the proper procedure as per Article 249. Hence, this provision, is not in tune with the basic structure of the Constitution.
Hence we propose deletion of this clause.” They opposed Clause 92, which wants the state government’s equity in Singareni Colleries Ltd be transferred to the Telangana state, saying, “As the company has been developed with the resources of United AP, the 51 pc equity of the state government should be equally distributed between the successor states.” They also opposed the proposal to share power generated by NTPC’s Simhadri plant with Telangana. As the plant is exclusively dedicated to ferro alloy units and steel plants in north coastal Andhra, they wanted the power generated by the plant to be exclusively given to the residuary state of AP. They also opposed the proposal to set up ‘Apex Council’ to supervise sharing of river waters between the two proposed states, saying, “Apex Council cannot be constituted as there is no authority to the Centre to set up such council.”
YSRC MLAs, including party floor leader YS Vijayalakshmi, opposed all clauses in the bill saying the division is against the interests of the people of the entire State. In their pleas they said they were opposing bifurcation as they felt that it was being done against the established constitutional procedures. They also felt that because of division, the residuary state of AP would suffer incalculable injustice on all fronts such as economic growth, proportional revenues, due share of river waters, employment opportunities and health care infrastructure. Stating that the proposed division goes against the interests of majority of the people of the state, the MLAs said bifurcation was against the recommendations of the Srikrishna Committee.
Like the YSRC members, Seemandhra MLAs of the TDP also opposed almost all the clauses of the T-bill. A total of 44 TDP Seemandhra MLAs submitted the proposals. Each member proposed 108 amendments to the bill. But a majority of the amendments are only general in nature. Exposing their non-seriousness and reflecting lack of homework on their part on the contents of the bill, the Seemandhra TDP MLAs cited general reasons such as ‘It is against United AP’, ‘People are opposing division of the State’ and ‘It is unconstitutional and it is against the unity of Telugu people’ for objecting the clauses of the Bill. Stating that it goes against the recommendation of the First SRC, they condemned every clause. saying the integrity, unity and federal system of India were at risk.
Big Three Keep Mum
Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu have chosen not to submit any written pleas to the speaker either backing the bill clause-wise or opposing the same. According to sources, Kiran has decided to move the amendments on the floor of the House as the leader of the House after delivering a spirited speech. Hence his decision not to submit a written plea to the speaker. Rayala T Still Brewing,
Rural development minister Dokka Manikya Vara Prasada Rao, a staunch loyalist of the AICC high command, proposed an amendment to Clause 3 of the bill, suggesting merger of Anantapur and Kurnool districts of Rayalaseema with the Telangana state.