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AP Bill passed in LS amid ruckus

AP Bill passed in LS amid ruckus
Highlights

AP Bill passed in LS amid ruckus, The Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2014, by voice-vote, amid ruckus and sloganeering of ‘Jai Telangana.

  • Vociferous protests by TRS, TMC, BJD members
  • They object to transfer of seven mandals to AP
  • TRS maintains it is an arbitrary decision by Centre
  • Centre says Bhadrachalam division originally part of AP
  • It was transferred in 1959 to T for administrative ease
  • Now, only a part of division being transferred back to AP
  • As debates not allowed, Speaker puts Bill to voice-vote
  • Statutory Motion moved by TRS MP Vinod defeated
  • Rajya Sabha to take it up next week


New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Friday passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2014, by voice-vote, amid ruckus and sloganeering of ‘Jai Telangana.’ The TRS MPs moved into the well and continued their protest even after the Bill was passed, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House till 2 pm. The TRS MPs received support from the BJD and the Trinamool Congress MPs. The Bill will now be taken up next week in the Rajya Sabha.
TRS MPs led by Kavitha and Vinod Kumar (3rd from right) protest against the AP Bill which was passed in Lok Sabha on Friday
As the House was surcharged with emotion, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said since debate was not possible in such an atmosphere she was putting the Bill to vote. First, the Speaker put the Statutory Motion to vote, which was rejected by voice-vote. Soon after that, the Speaker put the Bill to vote and it was carried by voice-vote.
Trouble started in the House from the word go when immediately after the Question Hour, the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization (Amendment) Bill, 2014, moved by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was taken up for consideration and passing.

While moving the Bill, in his brief remarks, Rajnath Singh said the Bill was referred to the President, who had recommended it to the House. Since the Ordinance was promulgated on May 29, ahead of the Appointed Day on June 2, the Centre was legally competent to make the changes.

In the Statement of Objects and Reasons, Rajnath Singh said that prior to 1959, the entire Bhadrachalam Revenue Division was part of the East Godavarai district. It was transferred to Khammam for administrative reasons.

Now only a part of Bhadrachalam Revenue Division was being transferred to Andhra Pradesh to address the rehabilitation and resettlement needs of the Polavaram Project.

TRS MP B Vinod Kumar moved a Statutory Resolution, stating, “That this House disapproves of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014 (No 4 of 2014) promulgated by the President on May 29, 2014.”

Explaining his position, Vinod Kumar said the Bill is against the spirit of the Constitution, saying Ordinance cannot be promulgated after the formation of Telangana. He wanted the Statutory Resolution should be discussed before taking up the Bill. Under Article 3 of the Constitution, the Centre has to elicit the views of the Legislatures of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said the discussion on the Statutory Resolution and the Bill should be taken up simultaneously. Rising on a point of order, Saugata Roy (Trinamool Cong) said the Statutory Resolution should be discussed and disposed of before taking up the Bill. The Speaker rejected it, saying it is a convention in the House to combine the discussion on the Statutory Resolution and the Bill simultaneously. Vinod Kumar reiterated his objection, saying the President has not elicited the views of the State Legislature. But the Speaker rejected the point of order and directed that the discussion be taken up.

Initiating the discussion, G Sukhender Reddy (Cong), speaking in Telugu, opposed the Bill on the ground that it was violative of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, as it involves the rights of the tribals. Sukhender Reddy sought redesigning Polavaram Project to reduce the submergence areas. He wanted the Home Minister to withdraw the Bill and to convene a meeting of the Chief Ministers of the four affected States to amicably resolve the issue. Sukhender Reddy said he is not against Polavaram Project but the design should be changed to reduce submergence areas.

Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD) said he was opposed as the Polavaram Project height has been raised, which threatened the Adivasis of Chhattisgarh and Odisha. If the Gov­ernment does not do justice, the matter could be taken to the Supreme Court. As slogan-shouting continued, the discussion was cut short to start the voting process.

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