The first ever business taken up by Modi cabinet was to promulgate the Polavaram Ordinance, that too on the sly. The first ever item tabled in the Parliament is also the Polavaram Ordinance. Minister of State for Parliamentary affairs, Santosh Gangwar tabled the Bill first thing yesterday soon after the President’s address, even before the House passed the Thanks giving motion for the President’s address.
As could be expected, Telangana, Orissa and Chattisgarh members have opposed the tabling of the Ordinance. TRS Karimnagar MP Vinod Kumar has said that they have already given a discussion notice to the Speaker on the issue under Article 123 Clause 2(A). Unless the discussion is over, the government cannot introduce the Ordinance it has brought to merge the submergence villages to Seemandhra. The Ordinance’s validity is being questioned as it proposes to change the boundaries of a newly formed State which was formed under Article 3.
After severe disruptions, the House was adjourned, and this morning, the House has taken up the Thanks motion to the President. The Ordinance issued on the 29th of May will have the time limit of six weeks, which will end mid-July. If the Ordinance is not approved by the Parliament in this session, it will lapse as the next sessions may not happen till August. As the present session will be over tomorrow, the BJP government has to show some intent on getting it cleared as Venkaiah Naidu and Chandra Babu have left no stone unturned in bringing the Ordinance.
TRS MP’s, Kavitha, Seetaram Nayak, Vinod Kumar and others have already stated that the Telangana government or the public os not opposed to the Polavaram dam per se, but the present design be changed so that the displacement of lakhs of indigenous girijan population be avoided. Orissa and Chattisgarh too have been opposing the Dam and the cases filed by them in the Supreme Court are still pending.
Mean while, the Seemandhra leadership represented by both Naidu’s has been working overtime on the issue. Chandra Babu spoke to the media first time yesterday after his taking oath and catered most of his time and vitriolic on the Polavaram objections of Telangana. “Who is KCR to speak on Polavaram, we will build the project no matter what, this dam benefits Telangana too greatly…”was what he said. If his contradictory speech on the issue is to be believed, why is he pushing the BJP government to behave dishonorably and make the Polavaram Ordinance an Act? Remember Ravi Shankar Prasad denied flatly that the first central cabinet meeting discussed the Polavaram Ordinance!
The question remains, why the BJP government is giving so much traction to the Naidu’s and risking court cases on the first major activity it takes up. Will this be the first indicator it wants to present with regard to Center -State relations? What about the “Sabka saath, Sabka Vikaas” it made the President repeat yesterday?