In an interesting twist to the draw of lots to allot Rajya Sabha members, hardcore Telangana and united Andhra Pradesh protagonists found themselves allotted to the States they bitterly opposed till bifurcation took place in March this year.
The Rajya Sabha Secretariat had taken up draw of lots for the RS members to divide the 18 members elected from Andhra Pradesh to the two States. As per the strength of the respective Assemblies, 11 members were allotted to AP and seven to Telangana. There is one vacancy in AP on account of demise of former Chief Minister Nedurumalli Janardhana Reddy recently.
TRS MP K. Keshava Rao, who had spearheaded demand for creation of a separate State while in the Congress as well as the TRS along with M.A. Khan and T. Devender Goud, found himself allotted to residuary AP. Equally interesting was the allotment of Congress MP K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao and C.M. Ramesh, hailing from Seemandhra, to Telangana.
In fact, Dr. Ramachandra Rao had religiously protested in the well of the House when the AP Reorganisation Bill was discussed in the Rajya Sabha this March. Carrying a placard, he along with other MPs from Seemandhra had disrupted the proceedings. Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh, who played a crucial role in the bifurcation process, has been allotted to Andhra Pradesh.
After draw of lots, the following members were allotted to Telangana: Dr. Ramachandra Rao, V. Hanumantha Rao, Rapolu Anand Bhaskar, Palvai Goverdhan Reddy, C. M. Ramesh, Gundu Sudha Rani and Garikapati Mohan Rao.
Those representing residuary AP are: Dr. Keshava Rao, M. A. Khan, Renuka Chowdary, Devender Goud, Y. Sujana Chowdary, Seetaramalakshmi, Jairam Ramesh, T. Subbarami Reddy, J.D. Seelam and K. Chiranjeevi.
It may be mentioned here that the draw of lots scheduled earlier had been put off after opposition from the sitting members, who feared that they would end up in rival states if the procedure was followed.
Sources said that the draw of lots was taken up to fulfil the constitutional obligation. Even though, the members have been allotted to other States, members may have the freedom to spend the MPLAD funds in the states of their choice. The Centre may issue an order shortly to allow the MPs to spend their funds in States they hail from, the sources added.