Former Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao urged President Pranab Mukherjee to exercise the “constituent powers” vested in him and reject the Central Government’s resolution in creation of separate Telangana State.

The President should refer to the Supreme Court the legal issue relating to determination of the scope of power and limiting the arbitrariness under Article 3. Mr. Mukherjee should issue necessary instructions to the Union Cabinet to constitute the second States Reorganisation Commission for considering pending claims for smaller States, Mr. Prasada Rao said.

In a letter addressed to the President, Mr. Dharmana said there was ample discretion available under Article 3 of the Constitution as could be seen from the resolution passed by the Union Cabinet on formation of separate Telangana with 10 districts, ignoring recommendations of several committees including the first SRC and the panel headed by Mr. Mukherjee himself that favoured constitution of the second SRC.

The act of the Union Cabinet raised a pertinent question of law as well as fact on “what is the scope of power available to the Council of Ministers under Article 3 and whether there were any limitations on the discretion / power available under the Article. “When the term of the Parliament and Assembly of the State concerned are coming to an end, whether such houses of Legislature could participate in the process under Article 3?” he questioned.

He recalled late Indira Gandhi’s address to the Parliament wherein she made clear that comparative backwardness could not be reason enough for taking drastic and irrevocable decisions. He expressed hope that the President would not act arbitrarily or mechanically while exercising the power under Article 3.