A.P. Chief Minister sits in dharna at Jantar Mantar, meets President Pranab Mukherjee
In an unprecedented move, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy staged a protest here at Jantar Mantar, barely half-a-kilometre from Parliament House, against the Centre’s move to create the State of Telangana.
From the protest venue he went to Rashtrapati Bhavan and submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee, complaining about the legal and constitutional loopholes in the Telangana bill crafted by the UPA government and urged him to dissuade the Manmohan Singh government from going ahead with the move.
The opening day of the residual winter session of Parliament also witnessed pandemonium, with Seemandhra MPs — opposed to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh — rushing into the well of the house, leaving the presiding officers with no option but to repeatedly adjourn the two Houses.
Though the Bill is slated to be cleared by the Union Cabinet, paving way for its formal introduction, going by the developments so far nothing short of a miracle could ensure its passage in the last session of the current Lok Sabha, which would end on February 21.
The opposition from within the party has embarrassed the Congress, which hoped to get the bill approved by Parliament ahead of the general election.
Though in principle the BJP and the Telugu Desam Party are committed to creation of Telangana, they have serious reservations about the current bill as, according to them, it does not address the ‘concerns’ of the people of Seemandhra.
On Tuesday, a delegation of the TDP led by N. Chandrababu Naidu had called on the President with a petition listing the reasons why it deemed it necessary for Mr. Mukherjee to intervene to stall the move. Separately, the YSR Congress also wrote to the President, urging him not to ‘recommend’ the passage of the bill.
The Andhra Pradesh Assembly and the Council last week rejected the bill as originally cleared by the Union Cabinet in December.