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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Telangana bill to be tabled in Parliament in February: Reddy

PTI  New Delhi, January 01, 2014
First Published: 20:56 IST(1/1/2014) | Last Updated: 21:03 IST(1/1/2014)

Union minister Jaipal Reddy on Wednesday said the Telangana statehood bill would be tabled in Parliament in the first week of February.

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Briefing reporters here, Reddy, who is a senior Congress leader from Telangana region, said he was confident the bill would be passed.

"I am not only a cabinet minister but also a senior parliamentarian. I have my own assessment," he said.

Asked about the change in portfolio of a Andhra Pradesh minister, which has kicked up a political storm in the state, he said any move by the (state) government and the Chief Minister are irrelevant to constitutional process.

"The wisdom of those doing this is limited," he charged without naming Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy who effected a minor reshuffle of portfolios by allocating Legislative Affairs to S Sailajanath from Seemandhra region, as an addition to the School Education portfolio he has been holding.

Civil Supplies Minister D Sridhar Babu, belonging to Telangana, was divested of the additional portfolio of Legislative Affairs and given charge of Commercial Taxes Department.

The portfolio re-jig seemingly sought to alter the regional equations at a time when the state legislature is set to take up a crucial debate on the draft AP Reorganisation Bill-2013, referred to by the President, from January 3.

Jaipal Reddy sought legislators to express their opinion about the Bill in the assembly. "If you do not discuss, it is the loss of the assembly," he added.

The President had given time till January 23 for the legislature to return the draft bill after due deliberations.

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