No violations in AP Bill: Venkaiah

No violations in AP Bill: Venkaiah

No violations in AP Bill: Venkaiah, it was promulgated before the Appointed Day on June 2 and the transfer of 7 Mandals from Khammam district in Telangana to Andhra Pradesh took place in the undivided State.

New Delhi: Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday asserted that there was no Constitutional violation in the passing of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2014.

Defending the Ordinance, Naidu said it was promulgated before the Appointed Day on June 2 and the transfer of 7 Mandals from Khammam district in Telangana to Andhra Pradesh took place in the undivided State. “I need not go to the root of the issue, as these areas actually formed part of the erstwhile Andhra State, when Andhra Pradesh was formed on November 1, 1956,” he said.

On the sidelines of the CPWD function at Vigyan Bhavan in the capital, Venkaiah Naidu also debunked the claim that the government rushed through the Bill. He asserted that it is not a Telangana-Andhra Pradesh issue, as it is being made out to be. It is basically an issue of compensation and resettlement of the displaced persons and the Centre has taken up the entire responsibility, even as some affected villages were transferred to Andhra Pradesh region.

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister asserted that there is no need for controversy. It is the previous Congress-led UPA Government decision. The Congress, he said, has no right to criticize, as it was their Government that had approved the Ordinance. It is also based on the assurances given by previous Prime Minisster Manmohan Singh in the Rajya Sabha. In fact, the previous Prime Minister was ready with the Ordinance, but President Pranab Mukherjee asked him not to proceed in the matter as the Model Code of Conduct was in force. Soon after the new Government came to power, the Ordinance was promulgated, he said.

A commitment was made by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his intervention in Rajya Sabha on February 20: “I would like to reassure Honourable Members that if any further amendments are needed to facilitate smooth and full Rehabilitation & Resettlement (R&R) for the Polavaram Project, they will be given effect to at the earliest. Our government will execute the Polavaram Project – let there be no doubt about it.”

Naidu said the Government had allocated 2 hours for debate in the Lok Sabha. It was included in the List of Business. Unfortunately, he said, some MPs rushed into the well of the House and created a ruckus to derail the debate. The Government was in favour of a full debate on floor of the House on the issue. There is a time constraint on the Government as Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill, 2014, replacing the Ordinance, has to be passed in both Houses of Parliament and obtain Presidential Assent by July 18.

For this reason he had consulted all political parties and Presiding Officers of both Houses of Parliament. Time for debate was also earmarked in the Business Advisory Committee (BAC). The Polavaram Project was taken up in 1980 at a cost of Rs 800 crore and it has escalated to Rs 16,000 crore now. Several canals digging work has taken place and work has also begun on the actual dam construction.

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