New Delhi: Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said there was no violation of the Constitution in the passing of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha yesterday.
The Bill was intended to replace Ordinance issued on May 29, 2014 for transferring some of the villages and mandals of Telangana to the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh in connection with the construction of Polavaram Multi-purpose Irrigation project.
The new state of Telangana came into being on June 2, 2014 and the ordinance was issued before that date when undivided Andhra Pradesh was still in existence, Naidu said on the sidelines of a function here.
His response came to the allegations made in and outside the Lok Sabha that the legislative assembly of Telangana should have been consulted while altering its borders.
On the issue of the amendment bill being passed without a discussion, Naidu said that in consultations with all the parties in the Business Advisory Committee of the House, two hours time was allotted for a discussion but the atmosphere in the House was vitiated with some members trooping into the well of the House and shouting.
He said a proper discussion would have enabled the government to give a full account of the circumstances of issuing the ordinance and introduction of the amendment bill.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister said the then UPA government and its Prime Minister had given commitments to do the needful to enable construction of Polavaram project including transfer of some villages to Andhra Pradesh, through an amendment to the AP Reorganisation Act.
Naidu said there was a time constraint of passing the amendment bill by both the Houses of Parliament and obtaining the assent of the President by July 18.
He said the proposed transfer of some villages to the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh was meant to rehabilitate the people of areas likely to be submerged by the Polavaram project and this issue should not be politicized.
Naidu referred to the statement of the then PM Manmohan Singh in the Rajya Sabha on February 2, 2014 as follows:
“I would like to reassure Hon'ble Members that if any further amendments are needed to facilitate smooth and full rehabilitation and resettlement for the Polavaram project, they will be given effect at the earliest. Our government will execute the Polavaram Project; let there be no doubt about it. ....I hope these additional announcements will demonstrate our steadfast commitment to not just the creation of Telangana but also to the continued prosperity and welfare of Seemandhra.”
Naidu said Polavaram project would bring immense benefits by way bringing additional farmland under irrigation, provision of drinking water and generation of electricity. He also said this project would provide Godavari water to Krishna delta thereby bringing down the load on Krishna water which may help Telangana also.
He said some Congress MPs, who had rejoiced over passing of the Bill creating Telangana, cannot now object to operationalising the same Act passed by the UPA government.
He appealed to all concerned for not politicizing the Polavaram project which would impact millions of lives of Telugu people.
He expressed concern over immense cost escalation of the project stating that it has increased from Rs 800 crore in 1980 to over Rs 16,000 crore now.