Parliamentary Impropriety of Kill Bill Resolution

It is untruthful and unethical to say that Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly has rejected AP Reorganization Bill 2013. It is untruthful because Speaker announced that the resolution rejecting the Bill was accepted by voice vote; but none knows exact number of a‘yes’!  Neither the Speaker of Assembly nor the Chairman of Council can authentically say how many voted for and how many against. In a 294-member Assembly with an effective strength of 279 members it is assumed that 160 members belonging to Seemandhra voted for the resolution and rest of members rejected it. It is just an assumption that all Seemandhra leaders were together in rejecting Telangana, while their differences and disunity is an open secret. Thus the truth of majority support to resolution cannot be established.

It is counted that Seemandhra has 160 out of 279 members in Assembly. But their real strength is – the Chief Minister, who exhibited his disloyalty to his own party and also unfortunately, the Speaker and Chairman of the Council. The Speaker and Chairman, who had fair record of fairness had a greater chance of exhibiting their objectivity by facilitating the votes to be counted and recounted on such a crucial issue.  They lost that chance. Similarly the Seemandhra leaders lost the opportunity to hide their unbrotherly attitude towards Telangana, which further consolidated justification for the demand for separation.

Factually speaking, the Speaker declared that 9,072 proposals for amendments/expression of views on the clauses of the Bill were submitted by members in writing and the Chairman of Council also declared that 1,157 amendments/expression of views were submitted. The Speaker also said that these opinions would form part of the official record. If that is so, who rejected what and where? Saying that Seemandhra legislators crossing their party boundaries voted for the rejection is factually incorrect because most of them spoke accepting to discuss over the Bill while seeking changes only in some of its provisions. The Bill was accepted as a Bill, the whole house agreed to discuss on it and also discussed it. But by this wrong route the U turn of Chief Minister was forced on the House by hurried resolution.

Those who voted for rejection of Bill (assuming without accepting that their number is 160) include most of 86 members who spoke for more than 53 hours since the Bill was introduced on December 16, 2013. If one counts Seemandhra Members of them including CM it is on record that over and above all Telangana members, they also accepted to discuss the Bill. Then what is the basis of the assumption that the House rejected the Bill?

Very fact of introduction, discussions and accepting with conditions in Business Advisory Committee to discuss the Bill in the House, discussing it fully utilizing the granted time plus extended time reaffirms that the Houses in principle accepted to take the Bill and expressed their views. Even the leader of the House Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy accepted the Bill as the basis of discussion, though disagreed with bifurcation, which again a lie, because he accepted it before his leaders and high command and continued accepting it till he took “U” turn. He spoke for hours about the Bill. He sought extension of time to discuss on the Bill without raising any doubt as to whether it was draft or final Bill etc. He sought another extension. And when it was clear to him, that he could not delay it any more, no further extension would be granted and factually they went ahead with expression of views, which he understood would rightly fulfill Constitutional requirement being a significant step in the process of division of state, developed an afterthought to rush with resolution by raising untenable technical aspects.

Going by technical aspects, the leader of house has to introduce the resolution, because he proposed it, followed by the discussion before it is put to voting. It was deliberately avoided. Instead of the CM, the Speaker introduces it as if it was his resolution, puts it before house, guillotined the discussion, asked for voting, without even hearing ‘ayes’ or noes declared  that resolution is passed.  The bill which was discussed for 45 days goes without a logical conclusion while a resolution gets approval within seconds without any discussion. Is it Parliamentary democracy envisaged by the Constitution?

Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy must have at least a thousand times said that the decision on Telangana issue was in the hands of Delhi, and he had nothing to do at state level. He takes a U turn in this also and holds that Delhi cannot decide fate of state and he prefers to decide fate of Telangana.

More than the constitutional it was conspiratorial and more than Parliamentary, it is un-Parliamentary practice to reject a bill which was discussed for more than 45 days.

Analysis of Kill-Bill Resolution

Let us analyze what the House resolved. “The House while rejecting the AP Reorganisation Bill, 2013, resolves to request the Honourable President of India not to recommend it for introduction in Parliament as the Bill seeks to bifurcate the state of Andhra Pradesh without any reason/basis and without arriving at a consensus, in utter disregard to the linguistic and cultural homogeneity and economic and administrative viability of both regions”.

This resolution also is factually wrong on several counts.

One- it alleges that bifurcation is without any reason or basis: Answer: Reasons are: Seemandhra leaders are more vengeful and highly biased against Telangana, there is absolute negligence, injustice, indifference, exploitation and diversion of resources from Telangana; there is democratic procedure, Constitutional process and political acceptance to the demand of separation- that is the legal basis.

Two- it alleged that it was without a consensus: Answer: absolutely incorrect and unethical lie to say so. Because all these political parties expressed either support or neutrality or silence if Center decides to bifurcate and the leaders within Congress accepted the High Command, which is a clear indication of consensus.

Three- it is alleged that it was done with utter disregard to the linguistic and cultural/homogeneity; Answer: It is absolutely wrong as the Bill regards the linguistic and cultural autonomy of Telangana which was disregarded by dominant, conspiratorial groups of Seemanndhra.

Four-it is alleged that it disregarded economic and administrative viability of both regions. Answer: Absolutely wrong again, it was discussed, debated and accepted to be viable by experts, which most of these anti-Telangana politicians can never like to understand.

Finally the resolution talks about ‘both regions’ – which shows that they also know it is not one homogenous region but two different regions.

The rejecting resolution is a case of brutal majority and brutality of majority which the Telangana, being a minority fighting tooth and nail for decades.

Like Dhirtarastra who is born blind, and his queen Gandhari who wanted to be blind to the Dusshasana deeds in Shasana Sabha, the Royal Court, those who are supposed to oversee the legislative process of expression of opinion as per the reference by the President, chose to be blind to run through the declaration of acceptance of rejection and allowed disrobing of Parliamentary norms and democratic spirit.

If 160 members of Seemandhra display their animosity of Telangana, the four crore people of Telangana will now look forward to 120 crore people of India through their representatives in Parliament to support their fighting against these biased brothers. Seemandhra leaders might have won the resolution but they lost the opportunity of being human and reasonable and they have sown the seeds of hatred, consequences of which could be unpredictably serious.  Now the whole world will know what type of characters the Telangana is fighting all these decades.

Madabhushi Sridhar

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