In a strong letter addressed to the President and the Prime Minister, he expressed concern at the way decisions were being taken and the process of bifurcation being pushed through.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Friday again took on the Centre for going ahead with bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh without addressing the concerns of a majority of people and bypassing referring such an important issue to the State Assembly.
“The minimum we expect from the Government of India is to follow established practices and conventions. As a first step, refer the matter to the Assembly for appropriate resolution. After getting the resolution [passed] and building consensus among various stakeholders, the Bill can be sent to the President for further reference to the legislature,” the Chief Minister said.
In a strong letter addressed to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he expressed concern at the way decisions were being taken and the process of bifurcation being pushed through, ignoring all conventions and procedures. “The whole issue now boils down to addressing concerns expressed by the majority people and finding solutions to some of the serious issues.”
A very major concern was over sharing irrigation water and management of major irrigation projects. The problem was unique to the State without any precedent and parallel for, the proposed bifurcation would vertically divide irrigation structures and the river course into two halves, he said.
Elaborating on the concerns over education, employment and medical infrastructure developed in the State capital that turned into an island of opportunities, Mr. Reddy said there was also no precedent of an existing capital being given away to a newly created State. “The Centre so far did not listen to various stakeholders, nor worked for finding solutions to any of these issues.” The Centre, he said, was pursuing the process of division without doing any homework and this caused anxiety and apprehensions among the majority of people.
Mr. Reddy pointed out that the Justice Srikrishna Committee report was never discussed in Parliament, nor were the panel recommendations considered. Secondly, as the Antony Committee that was appointed by the Congress had completed its task of consulting various stakeholders, “Why is the government not willing to wait for the committee’s report?” That it was not “open to debate and discussion in Parliament about such an important matter is something that we cannot understand.”
But the government, he said, added fuel to the fire, bringing the Cabinet note for creation of a new State as a Table Item.
An important item which had serious implications for the lives of crores of people became a “trivial item” for the government of India to be brought as a Table Item. The note was brought before the Cabinet hurriedly, apparently waiving due consultations with the Ministries concerned on the pretext that the Group of Ministers covered all important ministries that were expected to be consulted, he said. “To our shock, the subsequent order issued by the Cabinet Secretariat excludes the crucial Ministries like Water Resources, Urban Development, Power, HRD and Planning Commission.”