Prez extends T-bill deadline

AP House gets 7 more days to debate bill

Prez extends T-bill deadline

President Pranab Mukherj­ee on Thursday gave seven more days to the Andhra Pra­desh Assembly — till January 30 — to discuss and debate the draft of the AP Reorganisation Bill 2013 befo­re returning it to the Centre.

The Union government has  promised to table the legislation in the upcoming session of Parliament.

The President’s decision came following a request from the Andhra Pradesh government which sought four weeks' extension of the January 23 deadline fixed by him while sending the bill to the state Assembly.

Mukherjee appears to have extended time for the debate so that the bill could be expeditiously introduced in Parliament to create Telangana — India's 29th state — before the nation goes to polls.

Sources said the state government had conveyed that the bill has been debated by the Assembly only for a few days and many of the legislators were yet to speak on it and hence extension of the deadline was required.

There are precedents of giving extension of deadline to debate state reorganisation bills.
The Madhya Pradesh Assembly was given extended time by the then President to discuss and approve the bill for creation of Chhattisgarh.

Official sources said the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill now has to be returned by the state Assembly by January 30 with or without its view.

The House will have six working days before it hands over a resolution to Parliament. However, experts are of the opinion that whatever the Assembly does, Parliament can go ahead with its legislative process for creation of the new state.

However, state leaders opposed to the Telangana state hope that if the bill is defeated in the state legislature, the Congress will find it near-impossible to get it cleared in Parliament.

“It is just a wild and last hope of Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders from Seemandhra, who have not found any sympathy or support from national leaders,” said a source.

Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who began his speech in the Assembly on Wednesday, spoke on irrigation and coal on Thursday and will continue his presentation to oppose the bill on Friday.

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