President gives six weeks' time to House

President Pranab Mukherjee has given the Andhra Pradesh Assembly six weeks to take a call on the State Reorganisation Bill that seeks to create a separate Telangana state.

The Union Home Ministry sent the controversial Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill on Thursday to Assembly Speaker N Manohar's office, a day after the President sent it to the ministry for forwarding it to the state.

Officials said as suggested by the President, the Assembly has been asked to consider the Bill and respond by January 23 next year. The winter session of the state legislature began on Thursday. Mukherjee had earlier sought legal opinion, as he wanted the Bill, which provides for creation of Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh, to be legally sound.

Though Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde earlier said that the Centre could bring the Bill even without the consent of Andhra Pradesh, the Congress appears to be in no hurry to table the bill in the winter session. Sources said the government now expects to table the bill in Budget session.

Experts said that whatever the Assembly does, Parliament could go ahead with its legislative process for creation of the new state.

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