GoM finalises draft Telangana bill

The Group of Ministers (GoM), set up to look into the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, has finalised its report along with the draft Telangana Bill but remained non-committal on when it will be submitted to the Union Cabinet.

After a four-hour marathon meeting, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who heads the GoM, said they have discussed various issues concerning the bifurcation and distribution of assets between the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

“Some discussions are still left. I cannot say when the GoM will submit the report to Cabinet,” he told reporters here.

The Union Cabinet has a scheduled meeting tomorrow.

Sources said the GoM has finalised its report as well as the draft Telangana Bill to be submitted to the Union Cabinet for its consideration.

Yesterday, Shinde had said the the ministerial panel was trying to find ways to not to hurt any region of the state while creating Telangana.

The GoM had held a series of meetings with leaders of eight political parties, Union ministers from Andhra Pradesh and Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and officials in the past one month and they gave their opinion on distribution of assets and other issues between the new state and the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh.

Shinde had already said that the Telangana Bill would be tabled in the Winter Session of Parliament.

Sources said following an instruction from Congress high command, the GoM has speeded up the whole process.

Once the Cabinet clears the proposal, it will go to the President who in turn will refer it to Andhra Pradesh Assembly for approval. However, the Assembly resolution is not binding under the Constitution.

The Union Cabinet then can consider the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill and with Union Cabinet’s approval, it will send it to the President before being tabled in Parliament.

The Winter Session of Parliament commences on December 5 and will conclude on December 20. [PTI]

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