Telangana row: Andhra Pradesh heading for President`s rule?
Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi/Hyderabad: The state of Andhra Pradesh may soon come under the President`s rule with Governor ESL Narasimhan recommending imposition of central rule after the resignation of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy over the issue of state`s bifurcation.
According to reports, the imposition of President rule will ensure smooth bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in two states.
It is also likely that the Assembly elections may be postponed and held in two separate states, sources claim.
With both the houses of Parliament clearing the Telangana Bill, it would now go before the President who would issue a final notification on the matter.
While the central government would have a lot to do on the issue, there is one matter however which would be decided by the Supreme Court - whether the two states would have two high courts.
The notification on Telangana to be issued by the President is likely to come out on February 21 or 22.
However, it is immediately not clear whether Narasimhan has recommended for dissolution of the State Assembly or to keep the House under suspended animation.
A decision on imposition of central rule in Andhra Pradesh is expected to be taken in the next meeting of the Union Cabinet, which will recommend to the President.
With Parliament approving the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2014, paving way for the creation of Telganana as the 29th state, the political turmoil over its future is certainly over but the political parties are now fighting to take credit for clearing all hurdles from its path to statehood.
Reacting to the passage of the Telangana Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley said that it was a historic day, and that he was happy that his party`s efforts to deal with the issue had paid off.
"This is a historic day and I am happy that the BJP`s efforts have paid off. We could have opposed the Bill, but we didn`t. We have played an important role in passing this legislation," Jaitley told reporters late on Thursday.
In its reaction to the development, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that the bill had been passed with the support of majority of the people in the Rajya Sabha including the BJP.
"Two days back bill was passed in Lok Sabha and the Opposition had also supported it. When the bill went to the Rajya Sabha, it was passed because of the support of the BJP and the other parties," Shinde said.
Shinde, however, stressed, "Sonia Gandhi and the party decided to give justice to the people of Seemandhra and everyone supported the passage of Telangana."
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said that it was important for all the larger states to be divided into small parts for better functioning.
"It should be thought that the larger states should be divided into small parts. This will clear out things. Uttar Pradesh is still a big state even after formation of Uttarakhand. Things would be better if four states are formed out of it," said Mayawati.
"But just forming out states is not enough. Special packages should be given to weaker states and the central government should not just think about political interest," she said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said that a lot of discussion had taken place before the passage of the bill. "Everyone had put forth their views and a lot of discussion took place before the passage of the bill. The Parliament finally gave a green signal to an issue which was being awaited for the past 60 years," said Kamal Nath.
Importantly, TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao termed the passage of the bill as a historic development and gave credit for it to Sonia Gandhi. He told reporters in Delhi that it was not the defeat of any region. He said people of the two states would live as brothers.
Thanking Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rao said, "Without her support, this would not have become possible."
The passage of the bill triggered wild celebrations in Telangana. People came out on streets, burst crackers and distributed sweets in Hyderabad and other parts of the region.
It was gloom in Seemandhra, where a bandh has been called in today. People in some places staged protests and blamed their leaders for failing to stall division.
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill or the Telangana Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday in the face of noisy protests.
In a bid to ease tension among the pro-Andhra supporters, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also announced special package for Seemandhra. He declared grant of Special Category Status including tax incentives to the residuary state which will comprise 13 districts as part of a six-point development package for AP`s two successor states.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made this announcement amid unprecedented bedlam, which even forced the Congress MPs to form a protective ring before him as he spoke minutes after the Rajya Sabha passed, by voice vote, the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill.
The passing of the bill capped nearly five-year-long turbulence in the southern state and realising nearly six-decade-old dream of Telangana people for a separate state.
Telangana state will comprise 10 districts - Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medak, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Nizamabad and Adilabad. It will have about 3.5 crore population. Hyderabad, the capital of existing Andhra Pradesh, will be a common capital of both the states for 10 years.
The residuary state of Andhra Pradesh comprising Seemandhra will have 13 districts and a population of over 5 crore.
It is in fact a revival of statehood for Telangana, which existed as Hyderabad State from 1950 to 1956, when it was merged with then Andhra State to form Andhra Pradesh, a state for Telugu-speaking people.
Telangana, a backward region, witnessed first major movement for separate statehood in 1969 and it was revived with the formation of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in 2000.
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