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Updated: January 11, 2014 03:18 IST
Andhra Pradesh Bifurcation

Can Article 3 negate the spirit of legislature, asks C. Ramachandraiah

Special Correspondent
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Minister C. Ramachandraiah.
The Hindu
Minister C. Ramachandraiah.

‘State being crucified by the Centre through the proposed division’

Can Article 3 of the Constitution, under which the Centre is seeking to divide Andhra Pradesh, negate the spirit of the House reflecting people’s views?

This question was raised by Minister C. Ramachandraiah, Leader of the House, in the Legislative Council on Friday during a debate on the draft A.P. State Reorganisation Bill. Andhra Pradesh, a vanguard State for the last five decades, was being “crucified” through the proposed division, he said.

Questioning the rationale behind the decision, he said if backwardness was a factor, then development, not division was the solution.

Passage of the draft Bill would open Pandora’s box for the Centre with more such demands arising from different States.

Hyderabad, he said, was developed as a joint property by people from all regions, particularly Seemandhra and it accounted for 82 per cent of revenue in some sectors. Without Hyderabad, Seemandhra would be doomed.

Congress leader C. Yadav Reddy took exception to the Minister’s remarks and defended Article 3 on the ground that it protected interests of minority people. Forcing minority people to stay with majority was only a colonial desire.

Supporting the Bill, he said it was complete and in accordance with the standard format. Telangana people had been accommodating but were subjected to injustice. Experiments like regional development boards did not succeed and bifurcation was the only solution.

Rejecting the draft bifurcation Bill, P. Satish Reddy (TDP) said the Centre cleared it for political benefits. While several States demanded creation of new States including Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh alone was picked by the Centre to garner few seats giving a go by to the conventions and traditions.

While the Centre ignored a comprehensive Sri Krishna Committee’s report to do justice to all, it cleared the draft Bill that was totally biased towards one region.

P.J. Chandrasekhar Rao (CPI) supported the Bill and said division became inevitable as gentlemen and other agreements could not be implemented by the successive State governments. As all political parties gave their consent for Telananga, it was better to separate without deepening animosities.

Any provision in the Constitution should not be misused. Article 3 is
a very general definition. It has not specified as to the
circumstances under which it is to be used. Just by virtue of simple
definition one cannot resort to indiscriminate bifurcation of a State.
There must be laid down procedure also for that. Otherwise it amounts
to gross misuse of the power by the Centre. In which case, there will
be no difference between democracy and dictatorship. Similarly there
is Article 356 which lays down for imposition of President Rule in a
State. There are umpteen incidents wherein this provision was misused
by the Centre much to the dismay of well known constitutional pundits.
It is therefore, prudent on the part of the Union Govt. not to just
invoke the Article 3 and bulldoze the decision unilaterally on the
States.

from:  T Rajeswar Rao
Posted on: Jan 11, 2014 at 17:23 IST

The Minister has rightly raised the question. The Constitution is for
the people, of the people and by the people. It can not overlook the
spirit of the constituent assembly.

from:  T Rajeswar Rao
Posted on: Jan 11, 2014 at 11:26 IST
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