It may have taken more than five decades for the proposed law aimed at carving out a separate Telangana state of Andhra Pradesh to reach Parliament, but the government hopes to make the split one of the quickest in the country's history once lawmakers approve it.
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government has told the home ministry to split Andhra Pradesh as soon as President Pranab Mukherjee gives his assent to the law rather than wait for mother state Andhra Pradesh and proposed Telangana to work out the nitty-gritties of the division.
"The law to create a state comes into effect only on the date notified by the government," a government official said.
When Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand were created in 2000, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance government had given them 69 to 85 days to complete the basic formalities relating to the split including transfer of employees from the undivided states.
The quickest split – after the passage of the legislation – so far is Gujarat (Bombay state was bifurcated to create Gujarat and Maharashtra in 1960), which was formed within five days of parliamentary approval and presidential assent. A senior official said they had a similar deadline in mind for Telangana, which will be India's 29th state after its formation.
This would mean that the process to earmark even the All India Service officers would not be completed on the date when the division takes place. The Congress is determined to complete the process before the Election Commission starts the process to hold the 2014 general elections.
Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the Telangana bill would certainly be passed during Parliament's resumed winter session.
"There will be no problem," he told reporters. The session is expected to be wrapped up by February 21, leaving it open for the EC to announce the polls by February-end or first week of March.
The Andhra Pradesh assembly on Thursday had rejected the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill of 2013 meant for granting statehood to the Telangana region. But the Centre hopes to put the legislation up for parliamentary approval when the winter session resumes on February 5.