Hyderabad: Countering Union Minister Jairam Ramesh`s claim that the "draft Bill" and the "Bill" (related to AP Reorganisation) were the same, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Monday questioned if it was the former`s personal opinion or that of the Centre.
"If the draft Bill and the Bill are one and the same, the Centre should specify that in writing," the Chief Minister told reporters after the Assembly was adjourned for the day.
The state Legislature could express its views only if the Bill, that would eventually be tabled in Parliament, was referred to it, Reddy said.
"If the Bill doesn`t contain all relevant information, on what issue will we express our views? If a proper Bill is sent to us, we can give our opinion and also propose amendments. Parliament may or may not consider them," he observed.
The Chief Minister had on Saturday last questioned the validity of the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013 saying it was violative not only of Parliamentary procedures but also the Constitution of India.
"The Bill, referred to the state Legislature by the President, is full of mistakes and lacunae. In fact, the Centre itself is not clear whether it is a draft Bill or the (actual) Bill," Reddy had said in the state Assembly, asserting that it could not be discussed in the present form.
"The Bill does not contain the `objects and reasons`, the scope of proposals or the financial memorandum. It has not been specified in the Bill why are they (the Centre) seeking to divide the state," Reddy pointed out.
"How could we (state Legislature) express our views on the Bill without the Centre stating its views," Kiran wondered.
"Initially they said it`s the Bill. When we sought clarifications, objects and reasons and financial memorandum, the Union Home Secretary replied it`s only a draft Bill," he said.
Reacting to this, Jairam Ramesh, who was a member of the Group of Ministers that drafted the Bill, reportedly said in New Delhi today that the draft Bill and the Bill were the same.
"It`s not right to say the Bill is unconstitutional," he noted.
The Legislature could only express its views on the Bill, he said, adding, "The GoM will meet again after the state Legislature returns the Bill and discuss the amendments proposed, if any."