Telangana bill in Parliament : SC won’t interfere; govt reaches out to all parties
New Delhi – Even as the Centre works to find a middle way out of the Telangana tangle, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay tabling of the Telangana bill in Parliament, saying it did not want to interfere at this stage.
The apex court declined to pass any direction to the Centre on a batch of petitions challenging the carving of the new state of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh.
A bench comprising justices H L Dattu and S A Bobde referred to its earlier order of November 18, 2013, when it had said that it was premature at that time to entertain any petition relating to the opposition to the bifurcation of the state.
“We do not see any change in the stage between November 18, 2013 and today. So we decline to interfere at this stage,” the bench said. However, it clarified that the averment made in the writ petitions are open to be entertained at an appropriate stage.
Those who were opposing the proposed creation of Telangana sought stay of tabling of the bill, saying that there was all likelihood that the bill will be tabled in Parliament on February 10 and if it becomes a law, it will become an irreversible process.
They also submitted that since the Andhra Pradesh Assembly has unanimously rejected the draft bill, it should not be allowed to be tabled in the same form. The bench passed the brief order after almost one-and-a- half hours of hearing during which all the petitioners were heard.
Govt asks all parties to settle issue
Asserting that Telangana is something that has already been promised, the government today asked all parties to settle the issue finally as factions for and against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh continued disruption of Parliamentary proceedings.
“Let us see. This is something, which is already promised,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters outside Parliament.
He was asked whether the Union Cabinet will clear the Telangana bill in its meeting this evening so that it can be brought before Parliament for passage. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said disruptions over Telangana are not a Congress versus other parties issue.
“This issue is not about Congress MPs. It’s a question of Seemandhra MPs versus TDP MPs. My appeal is to all members is that they have to understand that if the issue is not solved in the 15th Lok Sabha, it will have to be settled in the next.
“Even then there will 17 MPs from Telangana and 25 from Seemandhra. This matter can only be put to rest by Parliament and by vote because there will always be members from Telangana and from Seemandhra. You can oppose it but opposing is different from obstruction. Disrupting Parliament proceedings weakens democracy and Parliamentary system,” Nath told reporters.
To a question as to whether the bill is expected to come to Parliament next week, Nath said, “We can always expect.”
CPI-M leader Basudev Acharia alleged that the no-confidence motion notice by Congress members shows that the disruptions are happening at the behest of the ruling party itself.
“They (Congress) do not want Parliament to run. They did not want the anti-corruption bills to be passed. Had they been serious about passing the anti-corruption bills, they could have brought it much earlier. We will not allow the passage of any bill in the din without a debate,” he said.