The controversial proposal that sanctions the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to turn the region of Telangana into its own state will be reviewed by the cabinet on Thursday. The government is determined to introduce the bill in Parliament in this session, which begins today.
After clearance by the cabinet, the bill will be sent to the President and then brought to Parliament for a debate and vote.
The bill was rejected last week by the law-makers of Andhra Pradesh. Their feedback is not binding on the Centre, but their dissent dents the moral authority of the Congress.
"I am still sure that the bill will not be presented to Parliament," said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who led the initiative that resulted in the bill being defeated in the state legislature. That pitted him against his party's central leadership, which wants the Telangana state to be cleared by Parliament before the national election, due by May. (Read)
The Chief Minister belongs to the Congress, which like most other parties, is blighted by differences over whether to turn Telangana into India's 29th state, a move the region has campaigned for over decades.
Telangana says its resources and economy have been unfairly exploited by the two regions of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema. Those areas say that a Telangana state will deprive them of their fair share of power, water and revenue from the IT hub of Hyderabad that is at the heart of Telangana.
The Congress in Delhi is counting on electoral gains in Telangana from its initiative, but this is the last time Parliament meets before the national election, so this is its last shot to deliver on its commitment.
State leaders like the chief minister want an undivided Andhra Pradesh for the national election so that voters in the non-Telangana regions don't punish them. They claim that 9,000 amendments listed by them prove that the bill cannot be considered by Parliament in its current version.