January 30, 2014

Andhra Pradesh Assembly rejects Telangana Bill

The Telangana Bill to carve out a Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh was defeated in the Assembly. However, there is no constitutional requirement for passage of the Bill in Assembly and it will now go to Parliament.
Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh Assembly rejected the Telangana Bill by voice vote and was adjourned sine die on Thursday as expected, even as the President's deadline to the state Assembly to return the draft Bill also ended. Earlier, the Assembly was adjourned for an hour as Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy dared the Centre to present the draft Telangana Bill in Parliament.

State Congress leaders said the Bill was unconstitutional and undemocratic. They even threatened a no-confidence motion in Parliament.

The Speaker introduced Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy's resolution to reject the Bill. Later the Bill was put for a voice vote and defeated. There are 175 Seemandhra legislators and 119 Telangana legislators in the House.

The resolution said: "The House while rejecting the AP Reorganisation Bill, 2013, resolves to request the Honourable President of India not to recommend it for introduction in Parliament as the Bill seeks to bifurcate the state of Andhra Pradesh without any reason/basis and without arriving at a consensus, in utter disregard to the linguistic and cultural homogeneity and economic and administrative viability of both regions."

It is not incumbent upon the Centre to go by the decision of the legislature.

Congress leader Renuka Chowdhary defended the vote, saying, "This is not a matter of victory or defeat. The Andhra CM is resonating what is the sentiments of Seemandhra." TRS leader KT Rama Rao said, "We knew this would happen. The Bill will be introduced in Parliament in February." The constitutional requirement is over. It is now for the Government of India to introduce the Bill in Parliament," according to Digvijaya Singh, Congress spokesperson.

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