By: Vicky Nanjappa
The manner in which the Seema-Andhra leaders handled the issue would only go on to show that there was no real seriousness to stall the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. The allegation against them is that it was a dance that was choreographed by the High Command of the Congress in New Delhi.
Let us begin with the resolution that was passed in the Andhra Pradesh assembly. Kiran Kumar Reddy, the Chief Minister got a resolution to defeat the Telangana bill passed and he came out seeming very proud of himself. However the lies became clear when the Deputy Speaker of the legislative assembly M B Vikramarka stated that the resolution is being moved under Rule 77 of the Assembly proceedings. Rule 77 is clear and states that any resolution under it is only sent to the Chief Secretary of the state. This means that this resolution does not reach the President of India who had sought an opinion in the first place. All the leaders were well aware of this rule and despite decided to move the resolution under this rule.
Srikanth Reddy, MLA from the YSR Congress party says that this is nothing but a game. All of them were well aware of the rules and also were acting as per the orders of their high command. The high command wanted to keep both sides in the Congress happy and hence this master plan. It was clear that none of them were serious about stalling the Bill and each time they went to New Delhi they came back with fresh ideas on how to stage manage proceedings and carry out an act for public consumption. The innocent public lapped up the same, he also points out.
While the resolution does not reach the president since it is under Rule 77, the Speaker will however forward the opinions voiced by some leaders. There have been very minutes of discussion as a majority of the session was marred by disruptions. A majority of the Seema-Andhra MLAs did not speak and file affidavits knowing fully well that this is what actually reaches the President. The question hence is why did all the Seema-Andhra MLAs file affidavits opposing the bill?
The third lie told by the Seema-Andhra leaders was that they will stall the bill in the assembly. In all the press statements and public meetings each leader said that they would defeat the bill in the state assembly. However what they never told the public clearly is that the opinion of the state assembly does not matter. It is only symbolic, but the Constitution clearly states that the opinion of the assembly is not binding on the president.
The fourth lie that they told the public was that in case they are unable to stall the bill they will move the Supreme Court. Yet again they have not told the public that the Supreme Court cannot override the decision of the Parliament and normally does not interfere with the same. They stopped short of telling the public about this precedent and failed to convey that Parliament was supreme.
The fifth lie concerned the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. He said more than once that in his lifetime he will not allow the bill to be passed. He also said that he will quit if the same goes through. Kiran Reddy was told by the High Command nearly 8 months back about the decision and how serious the Congress was about Telangana. . He did not utter a word to the public and things became known only following the Congress meeting in Delhi 4 months back which announced the formation of Telangana. Kiran Reddy went to Delhi once again and was told that the decision was final, but then he failed to convey the same to the public. Moreover he has threatened to resign if the Bill goes through. He never did that and continues to remain in office.
The case is similar where the rest of the leaders are concerned. None of them quit their posts or membership on the ground that they wanted to defeat the bill in the assembly. They knew all along that the assembly opinion never mattered and had they all quit enmasse, the Congress government in AP would have fallen and had a better impact on this issue.
The sixth lie or act was carried out in New Delhi. 6 MP’s from Seema-Andhra moved a no confidence motion. They never took it forward. Had they been serious they would have insisted on the resignation of the 19 other MPs from the Congress. They never did that and neither did the rest quit. The 19 other MPs did not even come forward and support the no confidence motion that was moved by 6 of their colleagues. Worse, despite creating such a hue and cry, these 6 MPs too never resigned from their membership in Parliament.