Telangana opponents dig in heels as Centre finalises draft bill
Setting the stage for the Cabinet’s formal approval of the Telangana bill, on Tuesday, a group of ministers (GoM) finalised the Telangana bill. The bill is to be introduced in Parliament over the next few weeks, but last-ditch efforts are on to scuttle the plan.india Updated: Feb 06, 2014 13:35 IST
As was expected the final Parliament session which resumed today had to be adjourned till noon over anti-Telangana protests.
Setting the stage for the Cabinet’s formal approval of the Telangana bill, on Tuesday, a group of ministers (GoM) finalised the Telangana bill. The bill is to be introduced today in Parliament over the next few weeks, but last-ditch efforts are on to scuttle the plan.
The GoM headed by Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde took less than 30 minutes to give its approval, brushing aside the 9,000-plus amendments proposed by Andhra legislators. Already, there are doubts within the government on the Congress’ ability to get support for the controversial split in Parliament.
In the midst of the tug-of-war over the creation of the new state, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he “sincerely hoped” the bill would get parliamentary approval.
He also had a word of advice for the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which has been at the forefront of the demand to split Andhra. “Nothing should be said or done that can inflame passions. I appeal to all that the bifurcation process should be peaceful,” Singh told the TRS delegation hours before the GoM meeting.
But preparations are already afoot in Andhra Pradesh to take to the streets against the split, bring the state to a grinding halt and catch the eye of Delhi.
The Andhra Pradesh Non Gazetted Officers declared about 5 lakh employees from Seemandhra would once again go on an indefinite strike from Wednesday midnight. A similar strike last year had continued for nearly two months, paralysing public services and disrupting power supply.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Reddy – who has piggybacked the opposition to emerge as a leader of the Seemandhra region —reached New Delhi to meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday.
His supporters said the CM was planning to join his colleagues’ protest in Delhi.
YSR Congress chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy has written to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar against the bill and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu is meeting all non-Congress national leaders in the Capital since Monday in his efforts to stall it.
TRS chief KC Rao is also doing the same — but for the introduction and passage of the Telangana bill in the last session of the 15th Lok Sabha.