T-plan hangs in balance

As the logjam continues in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly over Telangana bill, questions are being asked whether the state would be bifurcated before the April-May general election.

Leaders from the Telangana region have suddenly gone silent as days pass by without any clear signals from the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on any forward movement of the Bill which was referred to it by President Pranab Mukherjee on December 12, 2013.

Mukherjee had given Andhra Pradesh Assembly six weeks to take a call on the bill. It is not mandatory for the Centre to accept the views of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on the reorganisation of the state.

The Centre is mulling over convening the session of Parliament in the first week of February for consideration and passing of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill and the vote on account.

This gives the government barely three weeks for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, as the general election is expected to be announced by February end or within the first few days of March. MPs from Seemandhra are confident that it will be a united Andhra Pradesh that will go to the polls.

Their contention is that it would be very difficult for the Centre to complete the exercise within three weeks it has before the elections are announced.

A united Andhra Pradesh will be a shot in the arm for Y S Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress, which could reap electoral benefits in the Lok Sabha elections, pushing the Congress to a corner.

A section of Seemandhra leaders claims that even the BJP will not support the Telangana bill in Parliament as a “very senior leader” is opposed to the move.

The BJP has been demanding immediate passage of the Telangana bill by Parliament, but has been adding a caveat of addressing the issues raised by leaders from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

A petition filed in the Supreme Court against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh was rejected on Monday.

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