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Telangana: Delimitation Bill chances bleak

Posted November 15th, 2017, 11:01 AM IST

Telangana: Delimitation Bill chances bleak

Hyderabad: Chances of the Amendment Bill approving fresh delimitation of Assembly segments in TS and AP, coming before the winter session of Parliament, appear to be bleak with Prime Minister Narendra Modi yet to approve the home ministry’s note for the Cabinet. Moreover, sources said that the winter session of Parliament is being shortened to just six to seven working days, between December 14 and 23, due to the Gujarat Assembly polls. The Chief Ministers of TS and AP, have both gone on record saying that “this time” the Centre was keen to bring in the Delimitation Bill, which will increase the number of Assembly seats. AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and TRS MPs A.P. Jitender Reddy and B. Vinod Kumar have been assured by home minister Rajnath Singh that the Cabinet note was being sent to the PMO.

The procedure is for the Union home ministry (being the nodal ministry for state affairs) to prepare a note on the proposed legislation and send it to the PMO, which approves it for inclusion in the agenda of the weekly Cabinet meeting. The Cabinet must approve the bill before it is introduced in either House of Parliament. Sources say that the Union Cabinet’s ‘Inter-State Wing’ has prepared the note, which suggests a simple amendment of Section 26 of the AP Reorganisation Act by replacing the words ‘subject to Article 170 of Constitution’ with ‘Notwithstanding anything contained in Article 170 of the Constitution.’
Such an amendment to the Act can be passed with a simple majority in both the Houses of Parliament and there was no need to consider this as a Constitutional Amendment.

“We told Rajnath Singh that the UPA government brought Section 26 in the Act with the good intention of bringing more political stability in the two Telugu states. It is for the NDA government to fulfil its obligation by bringing a simple amendment at least now,” Mr Vinod Kumar told DC. Sources said once Parliament passes the amendment to Section 26, it will take a minimum of six months for the Election Commission to make fresh delimitation, paving the way for increasing the seats from 175 to 225 in AP and 119 to 153 in TS.