Bifurcation is expected only after elections

Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh will be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls scheduled for April/May.

While President Pranab Mukherjee is expected to give his assent to the Bill for bifurcation of the State in the next few days, the division will take place only after the elections.

Several Congress leaders from Seemandhra want the Assembly elections postponed for six months as they believe that the time gained could help the party retrieve lost political ground on account of Telangana creation.

But, the polls cannot be deferred as the Election Commission is constitutionally mandated to hold elections to the Assembly, whose term is ending on June 1.

It took three months for the then government to fix the appointed day for creation of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh — the last time division of States took place — from the day of gazette notification of the Act.

Though it has been over a week since Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned and quit the Congress, the Union government is yet to take a call on the next course of action. The Congress Legislature Party has not elected a new leader to replace the caretaker Chief Minister.

It is an incongruous situation where the State is headed by a caretaker Chief Minister, who does not represent any political party, and the single largest party does not have a leader. The Centre is in a bind over imposition of President’s Rule in Andhra Pradesh as the ground for Central rule does not exist.

President’s Rule can only be imposed if there is a constitutional breakdown or if a party or combination of parties conveys to the Governor that they are not in a position to form the government.

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