New Delhi/Hyderabad: In a smart move Wednesday night, President Pranab Mukherjee sent the Telangana Bill to Andhra Pradesh Assembly where the Winter Session kicks off on Thursday.
President gave the state Assembly 6 weeks time to discuss the statehood issue. This time frame rules out the possibility for the tabling of the Bill in Parliament's Winter Session.
Pranab Mukherjee was having consultations with legal experts on various provisions of the draft Telangana Bill proposing splitting of Andhra Pradesh.
Sources said the President wanted the Bill, which provides for creation of Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh, to be legally sound before sending it to the state Assembly for approval.
On Tuesday, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the legislation has been sent to the President through the Prime Minister and after that it would be sent to the state Assembly, sources said.
"The Bill is with the President," Shinde had said.
The winter session of the Andhra Pradesh State Legislative Assembly will be held from December 12th to 20th. There will be no sitting on Saturday and Sunday (Dec 14th and 15th) and therefore, the session will be of just seven days.
The decision was taken during the Assembly's Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting chaired by Speaker Nadendla Manohar in the Assembly premises in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Interestingly, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy (Leader of the House) and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu (Leader of the Opposition) abstained from the meeting.
Others who participated in the meeting include Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha, Finance Ministers Anam Narayana Reddy, Legislative Affairs Minister D. Sridhar Babu, Chief Whip Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy, Government Whips A. Mohan and Anil Kumar, TDP leaders - P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Gali Muddu Krishnamma Naidu, M. Narasimhulu, E. Dayakar Rao, YSRCP leaders - Y.S. Vijaya Lakshmi, Shobha Nagi Reddy and Suchitra and TRS leaders Etala Rajender and T Harish Rao.
Akbaruddin Owaisi (MIM), E. Lakshminarayana (BJP), G Mallesh (CPI), J. Ranga Reddy (CPM) and Dr Jayaprakash Narayan (Lok Satta) also participated in the meeting.
During the meeting, the opposition parties demanded that the session should be of at least 15-day duration. YSRCP leader Vijay Lakshmi wanted the House to take up resolution on keeping the State united. However, TDP's Errabelli Dayakar Rao objected to her suggestion stating that former Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy himself was in favour of Telangana.
TRS and BJP wanted debates on rising prices of essential commodities, power cuts, Mahabubnagar bus fire accident.
It has been decided that whenever Telangana Bill reaches Assembly, the BAC would meet again to allocate the time to debate the same.
The Union Cabinet on December 5 gave the go-ahead for the creation of a 10-district Telangana and outlined the blueprint for carving out the country's 29th state. Telangana will comprise 10 districts and the rest of Andhra Pradesh comprises 13 districts.
Hyderabad will remain the common capital for both the states for a period not exceeding 10 years. The Governor of Telangana will have a special responsibility for security of life, liberty and property of all those who reside in the common capital area. The Governor may be assisted by two advisors to be appointed by the Centre.