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TDP Chief Writes to Prez to Take SC Advice for Bifurcation

Alleging that the Centre is set to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh in an irresponsible manner without following established conventions, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu urged President Pranab Mukherjee here today, to get contentious issues examined and also refer these to the Supreme Court for its advice.

"The haste shown by the union government in drafting the AP State Reorganisation Bill without taking stakeholders into confidence is setting a dangerous precedent. It is bound to leave recurrent and perennial problems between the regions as well as generate hatred among the people of the state if the bill is implemented in this manner," Naidu said in a letter written to the President.

"I regret to inform you that most of the provisions in the Draft Reorganisation Bill are inconsistent and unconstitutional," his letter said.

Highlighting that a resolution by the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly is necessary for bifurcation, he alleged that the Centre has prepared a Draft Reorganisation Bill and sent it to the President's office in "utmost haste".

"In the Constituent Assembly's debates on Article 3, it has also been clearly mentioned by Dr B R Ambedkar that initiation for formation a new state shall be done by the total legislature and not by the Parliament," his letter said.

"However, to suit to their political expediency, the union government has prepared a Draft Reorganisation Bill and sent it to your esteemed office in utmost haste. This undemocratic measure, if allowed, undoubtedly amounts to the unfettered misuse of power by the Government of India in reorganising any of the states in the country for political gains, permanently damaging the federal spirit of the Constitution," the letter said.

Though the Attorney General reportedly expressed the opinion that Article 371-D cannot be made applicable to Andhra Pradesh after creation of the new state, the Group of Ministers (GoM) on AP's bifurcation sought to "short-circuit" constitutional procedures, Naidu alleged.

The GoM not finalising the capital city for the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh would create further acrimony and division, he said.

"Moreover, without mentioning specific financial provisions as to how the Government of India (GoI) will assist in the creation of the new capital city, people of the residuary state of AP feel cheated by the GoI," he said.

The TDP President found fault with the GoM's approach over issues concerning power and water resources.

"The proposal to set up an apex council and the River Management Board directly under the control of the GoI in the draft bill is contradictory to the constitution of India's federal spirit and is nothing but stealthily capturing the powers vested with the state government," he said.

There is no mention as to how employment and revenue-sharing would be ensured after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, he alleged.

"By presenting a shoddy and partisan Draft Reorganisation Bill in a hurry, the Union government has escalated the fears of a large section of people of Andhra Pradesh," he said.

The manner in which the Cabinet Note and the Draft Reorganisation Bill were taken up as Table Agenda items, without giving minimum time for cabinet ministers to study the contents, indicated the Centre's "perfunctory approach", he said.

"In this background of several lapses and inconsistencies in the Draft Reorganisation Bill, I request you to kindly intervene immediately to stop the process of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, till an amicable solution is arrived at among all stakeholders," the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh said.

Under such circumstances, Naidu suggested that it would be prudent for the President to take the Supreme Court's help for a judicious solution.

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