There is still scope to stall AP bifurcation process: Minister

Reiterating that the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh was a "grave mistake", Union Textiles Minister Kavuri Sambasiva Rao today said the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013 was unlikely to be approved by Parliament.

"Forget about approval, the Bill may not even go to Parliament," he told a press conference here.

The Centre could not go ahead with the division of a state overlooking the opinion of people, he said.

"Ours is a federal country where the Centre has certain powers and the states have certain powers. Without taking the views of the people of a state, the Centre can't go ahead with the division process. There is still scope to stall the bifurcation process and we are considering various options for that," Sambasiva Rao said without divulging the options.

All Union Ministers and MPs from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions would come to a decision on the future course of action if the Centre tried to push through the division process without considering their pleas, he said.

"If a certain action of ours will stop the bifurcation, we are ready for it," the Union Minister said and asked if they were ready to quit their posts and push the UPA government into minority.

"But since the BJP is supporting the Bill, our resignations may not stall the process," he maintained.

Stating that he "walked out" of the Union Cabinet meet on December 5 protesting the manner in which the Centre tried to approve the draft Bill, Sambasiva Rao said he told the Cabinet that he could not be a party to such a decision.

"I suggested three options if the Centre wanted to bifurcate the state. First is to make Hyderabad a Union Territory or a UT with an Assembly for a period of ten years. Second is to make Bhadrachalam division part of coastal Andhra region as it existed prior to 1959 and the third is to merge the districts of Kurnool and Anantapuram in Rayalaseema with ten districts of Telangana. Though the Centre initially favoured the third option, it dropped it following just a day's protest by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao," Sambasiva Rao elaborated.

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