The Central government will implement Article 371 (D) of the Constitution that provides for equitable opportunities in employment and education in the successor States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana after bifurcation.
The draft A.P. Reorganisation Bill, 2013, tabled in the Assembly on Monday says Article 371 (D) must be amended so that suitable provisions may be made for different zones in the State. Interestingly, the Bill seeks amendments to relevant provisions of the Constitution on other counts too, but it was not clear whether this has to be done through simple or absolute (two-thirds) majority in Parliament.
The first and the most debated issue is the ‘common capital’ status to Hyderabad, a term that finds no mention in the Constitution. TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu wondered how the Centre was going ahead with the provision of a common capital that had no precedent and accused it of misusing Article 3.
The Bill has also a contentious provision in that it envisages appointment of a common Governor to the successor States for a period of 10 years and vest him/her with “over riding powers”, a provision that is opposed by the protagonists of separate Telangana too.
Besides, the Governor, by invoking provisions under Article 371 (H), could exercise his individual judgment and his discretion would be final. “The validity of anything done by the Governor shall not be called in question on the ground that he ought or ought not to have acted in the exercise of his individual judgment,” according to the Bill.
The Governor would have the responsibility of ensuring the security of life, liberty and property of all those who reside in the common capital of Hyderabad. In addition to law and order, the Governor’s responsibility would extend to internal security and safety of all vital installations in the discharge of these functions. This transitory provision would be effective for a period of 10 years.
The draft Bill mandates amendment to Article 168, the provision dealing with constitution of Legislatures in States, for creation of Assembly and Council in the successor States.
According to the proposed Bill, Telangana would consist of 119 MLAs in Assembly, Council of 40 MLCs, 17 MPs in Lok Sabha and 7 MPs of Rajya Sabha. The successor state of Andhra Pradesh will have 175 elected MLAs, 50 MLCs, 25 MPs of Lok Sabha and 11 MPs of Rajya Sabha.