Accepting the plea of the Karnataka government, a parliamentary committee on Friday rejected the central government move to grant special constitutional status to six Karnataka districts, known as the Hyderabad-Karnataka region.
The parliamentary standing committee on home affairs observed that the constitutional amendment bill, introduced in Lok Sabha on September 7 to insert a new Article 371 J, was not in conformity with the resolution passed by the Karnataka assembly. Also, the union home ministry while drafting the Bill had not taken the Karnataka state on board, which had instead asked for a special status as received by Telengana.
The centre had gone a step ahead by providing constitutional status to the regional developmental boards, in the same pattern as that of the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. The Karnataka government said that while it favoured regional reservation in employment and technical education, and regional balance programmes for the districts on the lines of Telengana in Andhra Pradesh, there was no justification for providing constitutional status to regional board.
The state government feared that a board with a constitutional status may take its own course, leading to political crises in Bangaluru.
The committee asked the home ministry to withdraw the proposed legislation and work on the modified version in consultation with Karnataka government at the earliest. Under the proposal, a separate development board was to be set up for six districts for monitoring the overall socio-economic well-being of the region. A constitution amendment bill requires two-third majority of members present in both Houses of Parliament.
Article 371 of the Constitution had earlier been amended in 1956 to make special provisions for the Telangana and Marathwada regions.
The Marathwada region had, under Article 371 (2), got a separate development board for equitable allocation of funds, whereas the Telangana region had, under Article 371 (D), got a provision of local cadres for reservation in direct recruitment and admission to educational institutions and setting up of an administrative tribunal.
A home ministry official stated that they had amalgamated both the models and attempted to make the Karnataka model more comprehensive.