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dna special: Will assembly elections be held in unified Andhra Pradesh?

Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - 6:00am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

The bifurcation of the state has tossed up a peculiar situation in Andhra Pradesh.

If the notification for assembly elections is issued before the appointed day of creation of the two states — Telangana and Andhra Pradesh — then the assembly elections and the Lok Sabha elections will be held in United Andhra Pradesh, as it exists now.

But if the election notification comes after the appointed day of creation of the two states, then the elections will have to be held for two assemblies of the two states. In any case, the Election Commission will have to notify the elections for Andhra Pradesh by the end of March as the term of the state assembly expires on June 1, 2014 and any new assembly will have to be elected and convened, at least 15 days before the expiry of current assembly.

This, sources said, leaves the Centre with the likely option of notifying the appointed day of the creation of two states after the notification of assembly elections, as otherwise polls will have to be held in both the states and there is no time for readjusting the assembly constituencies and solving other issues related to the bifurcation.

"The readjustment of assembly constituencies of both the states would ideally take 5 to 6 months. This leaves the government with little option as the assembly term expires much before, on June 1 and cannot be extended," said a senior Election Commission official.

According to Subhash Kashyap, former Secretary General of three Lok Sabhas, the readjustment of assembly constituencies will have to wait at least till the Lok Sabha polls get over. "Readjustment of assembly constituencies can take place in time if is taken on a war footing and the government has a strong will do so and can iron out problem areas. This is a difficult task," said Kashyap.

He also added that there are many stages and probabilities before this as the President's assent is yet to take place to make Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Bill an Act, and the President has several options — he can give the assent immediately, can withhold the assent and can even return the bill back to the government.

Another interesting aspect of the bifurcation is that the increase in the assembly seats as referred to in the bill – from 119 to 153 for Telangana and from 175 to 225 for Andhra Pradesh — will have to wait for many years. The reason lies in the freeze till 2031 on delimitation set by the De-limitation Commission in 2006.


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