United-AP supporters bank on 3 factors to stall Telangana process

United-AP protagonists hope that Prez, SC will intervene in the matter, bank on BJP support.

Hyderabad: As the Centre moves to split Andhra Pradesh, the united-AP protagonists hope that President Pranab Mukherjee and the Supreme Court will intervene in the matter and the BJP will also play a role in stalling the formation of Telangana.

According to them, the President could stall the division "at least temporarily" because of the procedural lapses in the Centre's exercise. Starting with Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, these forces expect the President to direct the Centre to follow due procedure as enshrined in the Constitution (Article 3), and also the precedent set during the formation of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand.

Kiran already wrote a detailed letter to the President requesting him to "direct the Union Government to seek resolution on the division of the State from the Legislature as per the conventions established".

Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu too wrote a letter to the President noting that the "unconventional and undemocratic" method adopted by the Centre in the proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh was posing a threat to the "federal polity" and democracy of the country.

He requested the President to intervene immediately and direct the Government of India to first find an amicable solution and only then proceed with the exercise. "Our paths are not fully closed yet. At some stage, the President's intervention will become certain," state Infrastructure and Investment Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, a strong votary of a unified state, noted.

Secondly, the anti-bifurcation forces are counting on the Supreme Court's possible intervention, wherein they wish to obtain a "stay" and force the UPA government to redo the exercise, if not undo it. By not outrightly dismissing the writ petitions, filed challenging the Union Cabinet's decision to bifurcate AP, the apex court left a window of option open.

The Supreme Court asked the petitioners to approach it afresh once the state division Bill is tabled in Parliament, giving a glimmer of hope to the united-AP proponents. "There is nothing to be disheartened by the Supreme Court's refusal to entertain our petitions at this stage. We could now understand the Supreme Court's mind clearly and will get ready for the next round of the (legal) battle," TDP MLA Payyavula Keshav, who filed one of the writ petitions in his individual capacity, pointed out. "Our senior counsel are now working on the strategy for the next battle with relevant arguments and we will fight till the end," Keshav added.

Thirdly, they are pinning hopes the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). A section of the Congress MPs from Seemandhra region is said to have approached the BJP leadership with a 'SOS' to somehow get the Bill blocked in Parliament.

Interestingly, there is a marked change in the BJP's tone on the state division issue though its leaders deny it for the record. "Allaying the apprehensions of Seemandhra people is as important as the formation of Telangana state because all are Telugu people, all are Indians," BJP senior leader M Venkaiah Naidu observed even as he maintained, "We have not changed our tone."

"Let the Bill come (to Parliament), we will debate all the issues and express our point of view. We are here to protect the interests of all – people of Telangana, people of Rayalaseema and people of coastal Andhra. We stand for all people," he said.

( Source : PTI )
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