Union cabinet clears Telangana bill
Taking another step for formation of separate Telangana state, the union cabinet Friday gave its nod for Andhra Pradesh reorganization bill, said official sources.
The approval came at the two-hour long meeting held at the prime minister's 7 Race Course Road residence in the national capital.
The bill is aimed at creating Telangana as 29th state comprising 10 districts and Hyderabad as its capital.
The cabinet cleared the bill despite opposition by the central ministers from Seemandhra. It also reportedly turned down the proposals for making Hyderabad a union territory or formation of Rayala-Telangana by adding two districts of Rayalaseema to Telangana.
The cabinet, however, reportedly recommended a financial package to Rayalaseema and north coastal Andhra. It also agreed to provide financial assistance to develop capital of residuary state of Andhra Pradesh.
It was also reportedly decided to discuss in parliament the amendments proposed to Andhra Pradesh State Reorganisation Bill 2013 during the debate in the state legislature.
The cabinet meet was followed by a meeting of Congress Working Committee (CWC), which discussed the latest developments on Telangana.
The Supreme Court Friday refused to intervene in the central government's plans to carve out Telangana state, dismissing a number of petitions, seeking stay on the government's move to bring Telangana bill in parliament.
The apex court ruled that it is not an appropriate stage for it to intervene in the matter.
Both houses of the state legislature on Jan 30 had passed resolutions by a voice vote, rejecting the bill sent by President Pranab Mukherjee for its opinion under Article 3 of the Constitution.
However, the central government has decided to go ahead with the process for formation of separate state.
The bill will now be sent to the president with a recommendation to forward it to parliament.
Sources said the bill may be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Feb 12.
Parliament was again disrupted Friday over the Telangana issue. Both the houses were repeatedly adjourned.
Three no-confidence motions were admitted in the Lok Sabha, including one from a Congress member from Andhra Pradesh, opposing the proposed formation of Telangana.
In the Lok Sabha, the question hour was lost to protests as members from Seemandhra (as coastal Andhra and Rayalseema are collectively known) who are opposed to the division of the state, raised slogans and disrupted the proceedings.
With similar scenes prevailing when the house re-assembled at 12 noon, Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the house for the day.
Three parliamentarians from Andhra Pradesh, meanwhile, served no-confidence notices in the Lok Sabha against the Manmohan Singh government.
Harsha Kumar of the Congress, M. Venugopal Reddy of the Telugu Desam Party and M. Rajamohan Reddy of the YSR-Congress served separate notice to test the government's strength in the house.
All three are opposed to the creation of Telangana.
Similar notices were served Thursday, but could not be taken up amid the din that led to the adjournment of the house for the day.
Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha where TDP members C.M. Ramesh and Y.S. Choudhary trooped near the chairman's podium, raising slogans and flashing placards to "save Andhra Pradesh".
Chairman M. Hamid Ansari said disruptions in the house would now on be reflected in the record of proceedings.
"For several days now, we have been in a situation where we have been forced to witness deviations of the decorum of the house when members rush into the well," he said.
"I wish to inform the members that this will now be reflected precisely in the proceedings of the house."
However, as protest continued, the house was adjourned first till 12 noon, and then till 2.30 p.m. before being finally adjourned for the day.
(Posted on 07-02-2014)