‘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.