President Pranab Mukherjee will decide by Thursday the four week extension sought by Andhra Pradesh Government to discuss and debate the Telangana bill in the state Assembly before returning it to the President.

The proposal from Andhra Pradesh government has been forwarded to the President by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Rashtrapati Bhavan sources said the President is likely to take a decision whether to allow four weeks time or not to the state government.

Sources said the state government has conveyed that the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill has been debated by the Assembly only for a few days and many of the legislators are yet to speak on it and hence extension of the deadline was required.

If the time limit is extended beyond January 23, the Centre will have a very narrow window to get the Telangana Bill passed in the Parliament which will commence on February 5 to pass the Vote on Account.

The President had sent the draft bill to the state legislature on December 12 and gave time until January 23 to discuss and return it.

However, it is not clear what are the recommendations of the Home Ministry and what would be the President’s call on the request for extension of the deadline.

There are precedents of giving extension of deadline to debate the state reorganisation bills.

The Madhya Pradesh Assembly was given extended time by the then President to discuss and approve the bill for creation of Chhattisgarh.

However, experts are of the opinion that whatever the Assembly does, Parliament can go ahead with its legislative process for creation of the new state.

The Union Cabinet had on December 5 given the go-ahead for the creation of a 10-district Telangana and outlined the blueprint for carving out the country’s 29th state.

Telangana will comprise 10 districts and the rest of Andhra Pradesh will consist of 13 districts. Hyderabad will remain the common capital for both the states for a period not exceeding 10 years.

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