Telangana battle shifts to New Delhi
The battle of Telangana shifted to the national capital on Wednesday with the supporters of the new state and those against its formation clashing right outside the Andhra Bhawan here even as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy himself upped the ante opposing a divided state and threatening to resign.
Parliament also witnessed chaos and both houses had to be adjourned over the Telangana issue as soon as it convened even after the Prime Minister appealed for order in the House so that it is remembered as a historic session. This is the last session of the 15th Lok Sabha.
Police intervened and stopped a bigger chaos when the supporters of Telangana and Seemandhra clashed during their respective protests before the Andhra Bhawan even as the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by Congress assured to introduce the Telangana bill in Parliament with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself hoping that the Telangana Bill will be passed by the Parliament in its last session before the next general elections.
The last Parliament session before the April general elections began on Wednesday but it started with utter chaos and led to adjournments. Once the cabinet clears the Telangana bill, it will be sent for Presidential ascent and then will be debated in Parliament again for a final vote.
Despite being a Congress chief minister, Reddy has come out against the bill and in a TV interview he said he hoped the bill will not be presented to the President.
"My future is not important. The future of the people is important," said Reddy as he is in Delhi to sit on a dharna against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
The BJP meanwhile blamed the Congress for the mess.
BJP senior leader and spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said his party is in support of Telangana but also want that the interests of the Seemandhra are protected. He said Congress created an entire mess on the issue as its own MPs and chief minister are against Telangana.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said that he hoped that the Telangana Bill will be passed by the Parliament.
"There is the vital issue of Telangana. We will be bringing a Bill in Parliament for its approval and I sincerely hope that after a long debate extending over many years, the House will, in its wisdom, be able to transact the business and pass the Bill relating to the creation of the state of Telangana," Singh told reporters after the All-Party Meeting called by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.
The Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Jan 30 rejected the Telangana Bill before being adjourned sine die.
The Bill that proposes the formation of Telangana was sent by President Pranab Mukherjee to the Andhra Pradesh assembly for review earlier this month.
The new state of Telangana is expected to have 10 districts, a population of 35.38 million and an area of 1.14 lakh square km and including Andhra Pradesh capital Hyderabad, which will serve as a common capital for 10 years.
The GoM (Group of Ministers) earlier had submitted its draft on bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of Telangana as the 29th state of India.
India's ruling Congress party in July 2013 approved a move to carve out the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, giving in to a five-decade-long demand from supporters in a major decision ahead of 2014 elections.
Officially urging the government to take constitutional steps that will see the state's formation, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) passed a resolution on the same.
The Telangana region, which merged with Andhra Pradesh in 1956 against the wishes of many local residents, comprises 10 districts - Adilabad, Hyderabad, Khammam, Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Nalgonda, Nizamabad, Rangareddy, and Warangal.
(Posted on 05-02-2014)
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