No, it is now the property of the House, says Sushilkumar Shinde
The Opposition on Thursday contested the statements by Ministers and UPA floor managers that the Telangana Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha after Speaker Meira Kumar allowed it to be introduced.
The Opposition said all rules and norms were given the go-by as the government went ahead with the introduction of the Bill hastily for narrow political gains.
On the rules for introduction of a Bill, the view is that it is entirely a matter of the Speaker’s discretion to decide on the order of the agenda to be followed for the day.
The former Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha, Subash Kashyap, told The Hindu: “Irrespective of the listed business and the agenda on the business, the Speaker has powers to waive rules to allow introduction of a Bill or to take up any other agenda.”
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj complained that the Bill for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh was not listed on the agenda circulated. “Under the normal procedure, at the end of question hour, the first item on the agenda is to lay papers listed in the order paper on the table of the House. This was not done.”
She said: “Some members had served a no-trust move notice, which, in the normal course, has to be disposed of before any other item is taken up. We were not notified even through the supplementary list of business about the tabling of the Andhra Pradesh bifurcation Bill. As far as we are concerned, it has not been tabled. We learnt about the introduction of the Bill only after the House was adjourned amid pandemonium.”
However, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who introduced the Bill, asserted that it was tabled and now it was “the property of the House.” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath and Law Minister Kapil Sibal also said the Bill had been introduced. Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao echoed their views.
Salient features of A.P. Reorganisation Bill
1. The Bill envisages Hyderabad as the common capital. The Andhra Pradesh Governor will be Governor for both successor States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
2. The common capital includes the existing area notified as Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation. Centre shall form expert committee to suggest a new capital of Andhra Pradesh within 45 days.
3. The Centre will set up an apex council for the supervision of Krishna and Godavari rivers on water sharing.
4. Twenty-five Lok Sabha seats to be allocated to residuary Andhra Pradesh and 17 Lok Sabha seats to Telangana.
5. Residuary Andhra Pradesh will get 175 Legislative Assembly seats and Telangana 119.
6. Existing admission quotas in all government or private, aided or unaided institutions of higher, technical and medical education shall continue for 10 years during which common admission process shall continue.
7. The Polavaram Irrigation Project will be declared as a national project and the Centre will take under its control the regulation and development and the Tungabhadra Board will continue to monitor the release of water to high level canal, low level canal and Rajolibanda diversion scheme.
8. The High Court at Hyderabad will be common for both States till a separate High Court is set up for residuary Andhra Pradesh.
9. Any dispute, regarding financial assets and liabilities, shall be settled through mutual agreement failing which by the Centre’s order on the advice of the Comptroller and Auditor General.
10. All properties situated outside existing Andhra Pradesh will be apportioned between the successor States on the basis of population ratio.
11. Greyhound and OCTOPUS forces of the existing Andhra Pradesh will be distributed after seeking opinions from the personnel and each of these forces.
12. The award made by the 13th Finance Commission to the existing State of Andhra Pradesh will be apportioned between the successor States by the Centre on the basis of population and other parameters.