The following article was written for Niti Central. Pasting it here for reference:
The Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh had sent some 9,072 Amendments to the AP Reorganisation Bill. The Legislative Council had sent around 1,157 Amendments. Most of them might be repetitive but are opinions of the legislators nevertheless. Except for the PCC president and the TDP president, every single member proposed amendments. Most of the amendments are for key provisions of the Bill, not some random ones. Yesterday, the GoM on Telangana met for a whopping 30 minutes – and okayed the Bill that will be presented before the Cabinet in the tomorrow. It is safe to assume that the GoM did not care about the report sent by the Assembly. Not agreeing with the view of the Assembly is one thing, but to ignore in totality the views of the members is plain disgusting. If ‘sources’ are to be believed, no major changes have been made to the Bill.
But then ‘sources’ also told us a lot of stories, including the formation of Rayala-Telangana! So, there is also a probability that the ‘sources’ are wrong too. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh is holding a “Silent Deeksha” at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday to protest against his own party’s decision to split the State! The Congress leaders had a “war room” meeting with MPs from Andhra Pradesh last night. ‘Sources’ say that Digvijay Singh asked MPs from Seemandhra to propose Amendments that will benefit the region, so that they can discuss it in Parliament! He didn’t want the BJP to get away with credit for Amendments on Seemandhra region’s concerns! The Congress’s chicanery is outstanding really. After doing a mere copy paste job to prepare the Bill, they are now relying on other parties to come up with relevant Amendments to make the Bill look much better than what it is now! The game plan is simply astounding – let’s prepare some Bill; let other parties do the thinking and propose meaningful Amendments; let’s then take credit for those Amendments! All these days, one wonders why they slept on the Bill without bothering to think and seek Amendments to address concerns of Seemandhra leaders and people?
Every since July 31, we have been bombarded by the likes of Digvijay Singh stating that “justice will be done to Seemandhra” folks, with no clarity or quantification on what “justice” means. Even today, a day before the Cabinet will discuss the Bill, the Union Cabinet Ministers are clueless on what this “justice” means! Ten Ministers have submitted memorandums to their own Government giving advise on how “justice” can be done. Not a single one of those Amendments have been considered so far! Their own Minister, Purandeswari, has derided the use of the phrase “wherever feasible” in the Bill. She told us that, in Government parlance, this phrase means that the project cannot be done! Other Union Ministers have echoed similar sentiments – though it is another matter that despite resignations the Ministers still continue to perform their duties! This is the confidence level of Ministers themselves; guess what the UPA Government demanded on Tuesday? It had the audacity to demand an “unequivocal” support to the Bill from the Opposition parties!
Kamalnath told the waiting Press that he wants the Opposition to either support the Bill or oppose it. He didn’t want them to impose any “conditions” to the passage of the Bill. One wonders where these leaders get this arrogance from – why should the Opposition parties merely parrot the Government? Why shouldn’t any party for that matter not take a stance of conditionally supporting the Bill? What kind of example is being set by Sonia Gandhi’s Government? Why is the ball being thrown in the court of Opposition parties? For 10 years, a common capital, common governor, common High Court, common entrance exam is such a farcical solution to this saga. Newspaper reports indicate that the Home Minister has written to Rajya Sabha chairperson that they will introduce the Bill on February 10.
The Government employees have given strike notices and will be going on strike from tomorrow onwards. This will be a repeat of the 66 day ordeal in August-October of last year. Almost the entire Assembly of Andhra Pradesh is in New Delhi only – with leaders lobbying with every party that has at least one MP! It is a given fact that MPs from the Congress will disrupt Parliament – will the Bill be discussed and passed after suspending these members is what remains to be seen. As always, we still do not have any clarity!