YSR Congress president Jaganmohan Reddy met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at his residence on Friday in a bid to build consensus over the “abuse” of Article 3 of the Constitution, related to the formation of new States. Both leaders denied any political overtone to the meeting.

In the context of bifurcating Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana, Mr. Reddy said, “For the first time, Article 3 is being abused where the previous precedents of seeking the Assembly into confidence [have been flouted]. Consent of the [Andhra Pradesh] Assembly is missing. If this were to be accepted and given the way, it would set a dangerous new precedent. Other States won’t be far behind. If 272 MPs, sitting in Delhi, could carve out a new State, without the consent of States, that would set a precedent for carving out other States as well.”

“I told Mr. Kumar what kind of ramifications this would have and he was kind enough to understand and extend support for the cause.”

Mr. Kumar said it was an established tradition that on the issue of creation of new States or State bifurcation, the State’s Assembly has to be taken into confidence.

“He [Mr. Reddy] has an important and valid point. On the question of State formation, a simple majority is not enough. You have to take the State Assembly into confidence,” Mr. Kumar said.

“This [Article 3] is a much bigger cause. I have a very strong relationship with Mr. Kumar and I respect him a lot, but we have not spoken about politics,” Mr. Reddy said.

Meets Badal

Hyderabad Special Correspondent reports:

Earlier, Mr. Reddy met Shiromani Akali Dal Party chief and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at Delhi and got his support. Talking to reporters, Mr. Badal said before dividing any State a resolution of the Assembly with two-thirds majority must be taken. Even in Panchayats, if anything has to be done, they need to have two-thirds majority. So the Central government and other parties should think about it, he added.