Kiran Kumar Reddy to appeal to the president not to recommend the tabling of the Telangana bill in Parliament post its rejection in the parent state assembly
GN Bureau | February 3, 2014
The war of wits over Telangana has shifted from Hyderabad to Delhi in the last two days. Prominent leaders from Andhra Pradesh including TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and TRS president K Chandrasekhara Rao have been camping in Delhi since yesterday. They have been meeting leaders of national parties in their bid to drum up support for their respective stands on the Telangana bill.
But what added fresh spice to the ongoing bifurcation saga was this speculation centering on Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy. The chief minister, who will be heading to Delhi tomorrow, is speculated to be also mulling the option of moving the Supreme Court challenging the state’s bifurcation.
Kiran Kumar Reddy is proving time and again as the biggest thorn in the Congress flesh as far as the Telangana issue is concerned. Determined to scuttle the bifurcation process, he has already pulled off a coup in the state assembly by getting the Telangana bill rejected through a resolution.
As a next step to pile on further misery on the UPA, Reddy is planning to meet President Pranab Mukherjee during his two-day visit to Delhi from tomorrow. Along with a galaxy of Seemandhra leaders, he is expected to appeal to the president not to recommend the tabling of the bill in Parliament post its rejection in the parent state assembly. This apart, he is widely anticipated to sit on a silent protest at Shakti Sthal, to press for his demand.
Sources close to the chief minister indicated today that Kiran Kumar Reddy might also prefer to file a petition in the Supreme Court against bifurcation. The chief minister is likely to fire this salvo around the same time the president is expected to forward the bill to the Parliament. Incidentally, three more petitions were filed in the apex court today, taking the total number of petitions in this regard to seven. The Supreme Court posted the matter for hearing for Friday.
Meanwhile, undeterred by Kiran Kumar Reddy’s efforts, TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao is busy meeting national leaders to ensure that they are in his kitty over the bill. Yesterday, he was closeted with LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and JD (U) chief Sharad Yadav.
Not to miss out on Telangana activity in the national capital, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu met BJP president Rajnath Singh. He is scheduled to meet President Pranab Mukherjee later in the evening.
The TRS rank and file may be upbeat about the spree of meetings but their chief KCR hasn’t managed clear-cut support from all the quarters. While Paswan and Lalu Prasad threw their weight behind the Telangana cause in Parliament, Sharad Yadav was firm on a peaceful solution, amicable to all three regions. Similar sentiments were expressed by Rajnath Singh during his meeting with Chandrababu Naidu, indicating a clear shift in opinion among the national parties on the vexed issue.
Meanwhile, the state government accomplished its constitutional obligation with regard to the Telangana bill, by formally sending the Telangana bill back to the Union Home Ministry. The bill is annexed with members’ views in the form of affidavits, proposals for amendments and the copies of resolution moved to reject the bill on the floor of the state assembly. Packed in 35 bundles, the voluminous bill weighs about 500 kgs. The state assembly officials prepared about 50 sets, each one consisting of about 1,000 pages.
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