Hyderabad: There are just 80 days left for the Bill on Telangana to be brought before Parliament. There is just the Winter Session of Parliament intervening before the May 2014 polls and doubts are being expressed about whether the formalities can be completed in this time-frame.
It is normal practice that the Vote-On-Account session of Parliament (which will be in February 2014) is a short one. According to Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde, the Cabinet Draft Note on Telangana is ready, and will be placed before the Cabinet after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returns from the United States in the first week of October.
The Central government had said earlier that the formation of the new state of Telangana will take 215 days or seven months.
The Centre needs to work quickly to meet this time-frame. Preparation of the Cabinet Note, appointment of the Group of Ministers to prepare the Draft Bill, submission of the Draft Bill to the President, referring the Draft Bill to the AP Assembly to obtain its “views”.
Draft note yet to be finalised
After seeking “views” from the AP Assembly on state bifurcation, the Union Cabinet to sit to approve the final Bill, to get President’s assent before it is finally introduced in Parliament.
All this should be completed at least 10 days prior to the last working day of Parliament’s Winter Session, so that the introduction, consideration, and approval of the Bill by both the Houses of Parliament can be completed.
Normally the Winter Session of Parliament begins on November 23 and is adjourned sine die on December 22.
So far, the Draft Cabinet Note is ready. It has to be finalised by the Cabinet after addressing the concerns of people from the Seemandhra region, which the A.K. Antony Committee has been appointed to discover.
At the time of the last general election, in 2009, the Vote-On-Account budget session of Parliament was held for 10 days in February, to complete statutory business — such as the President’s address to the joint session, approval of the thanksgiving motion to the President’s address, and the mandatory approval of the Vote-On-Account budget for four months.
The Model Code of Conduct came into effect on March 2, 2009, when the poll schedule was announced. The May 2014 elections are likely to follow a similar pattern.