Hopes it will be approved in Parliament

The government is expected to table the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill in Parliament for creating Telangana in the first week of February, Union Minister Jaipal Reddy has said.

In an informal chat with journalists in Hyderabad, he hoped that the Bill would be approved without any hitch.

Though the winter session of Parliament concluded on December 18 two days ahead of schedule, the government could re-convene it as it has not been adjourned sine die.

President Pranab Mukherjee has referred the Bill to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, which has been mandated to return it by January 23.

The opinion, if any, expressed by the Assembly on the Bill would have no bearing on the Centre introducing it in Parliament.

It is immediately not clear whether the government intends to convene a short session of Parliament to get the Bill passed or put it on hold till the budget session to secure a vote-on-account before the general election due in April/May.

‘I have my own assessment’

Asked how he was confident of the Bill getting Parliament’s approval, Mr. Reddy said: “I am not only a Cabinet Minister but also a senior parliamentarian. I have my own assessment.”

On the controversy over the change in the portfolio of an Andhra Pradesh Minister of Telangana, he said any move by the State government and the Chief Minister were irrelevant to the constitutional process.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has divested Civil Supplies Minister D. Sridhar Babu of Legislative Affairs.

It has been criticised by votaries of Telangana as Dr. Babu belongs to the region.