President Pranab Mukherjee has given his nod to the Telangana Bill which is likely to be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday. Home Ministry officials said that the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, which was approved by the Union Cabinet but rejected by the state Aseembly, has been sent back to the Home Ministry with the Presidential approval.
The UPA government is gritting its teeth as it prepares to introduce the Telangana Bill in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. It knows that it is going to be pretty difficult, and that there is nothing it can do to prevent the ugly scenes.
Union minister of state for human resources development M Pallam Raju is still pointing to the lacunae in the bill. "The government has not considered the inadequacies of the bill in terms of the needs of the other region," he said. He was pointing to issues like sharing of revenue of Hyderabad, which is the mega-earner in the whole state. If Seemandhra is to lose Hyderabad then the consequent revenue deficit would be huge.
There are 17 members from Andhra Pradesh in Rajya Sabha, 10 from Seemandhra and seven from Telangana. Out of the 17, four are from the TDP, and the rest from the Congress. The odd one out in the Congress list is minister for rural development Jairam Ramesh who has been elected to the upper house from Andhra Pradesh. He has apparently tried to bat for Seemandhra during discussion in the cabinet on the Telangana bill. The other Congress minister from the House is K. Chiranjeevi, who is in-charge of tourism.
The BJP, the main opposition party, has always been in favour of Telangana and its leaders are saying that they would support the bill. A senior party leader said that on an important bill like this there would be division and voting on it, and this cannot be done if the House is not in order. That is, the protesting Seemandhra MPs may have to be suspended and taken out of the House before the bill can be discussed and passed.
Meanwhile, in Hyderabad, finance minister Ramanarayana Reddy introduced the vote on account budget for the next six months amid din. Legislators from Telangana were opposing introduction of the outlay saying that budget should be introduced only after a new state of Telangana is formed. All the 11 Telangana ministers in the Kiran Kumar Reddy boycotted the pre-budget cabinet meet this morning and also stood up disturbing the presentation of the vote on account budget in the AP assembly today registering their protest against the CM.