Ending days of suspense, the Union Cabinet on Friday recommended imposition of President’s Rule in Andhra Pradesh while keeping the Assembly in suspended animation.
There was political uncertainty after Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned and quit the Congress in protest against the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
Placing the Assembly under suspended animation is a mere technicality as its term ends on June 1. Andhra Pradesh will have simultaneous election with the Lok Sabha.
The Congress, TRS and the YSR Congress justified the decision. TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu called it a blot on democracy. Former Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy said installation of a new government ahead of the election would have been irrational. Another former Minister, J. Geetha Reddy, said the Congress high command had opted for President’s rule taking into account all aspects.
Seemandhra Congress leaders had lobbied for the postponement of the Assembly election, saying it would help the party ease frayed tempers over the creation of Telangana. But, the proposal was not legally tenable.
The Union Cabinet on Friday approved several pre-poll sops which could help the Congress gain some political mileage in the Telangana region, which accounts for 17 Lok Sabha seats.
It also approved proposals for higher education institutions in the Telangana and Seemandhra regions of Andhra Pradesh, which will be bifurcated a couple of months after the general and Assembly elections in the State.
Of the 54 Kendriya Vidyalayas approved by the Cabinet, 10 will be located in the undivided Andhra Pradesh. While seven will be in the Telangana region, the remaining three will be in Seemandhra.
The seven KVs in Telangana will be located in Warangal, Secunderabad, Nalgonda, Adilabad, Karimnagar, Medak and Nizamabad. The three in Seemandhra will be in Cuddapah, Guntur and East Godavari districts. The Central spend on each by way of capital cost alone will be Rs. 15 crore.
The Seemandhra region also gets a National Institute of Design. It will be located in Vijayawada and the total investment to establish it will be Rs.109 crore. It will have an annual intake of 50 undergraduate students for its three year programme.
Cabinet sources said while the proposal sent to the Cabinet by the Industry Ministry mooted Hyderabad as the location, the Seemandhra members in the Cabinet managed to have their way and get it shifted to Vijayawada.
(With additional reporting by Ravi Reddy in Hyderabad)