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Lok Satta Party seeks President's intervention on the issue of Andhra bifurcation
Lok Satta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan has requested Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, to ensure that the State Legislature's consent is obtained before a Bill is introduced under Article 3 of the Constitution in Parliament for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

“The determined efforts of the Union Government and its oft-repeated declarations that Andhra Pradesh will be divided irrespective of the State Legislature’s views pose a grave danger to federalism and unity of India”, Jayaprakash Narayan told Pranab Mukherjee in a letter dated October 30, released today.  

In his letter, Narayan said, “As the President, you are not only the head of the Republic, but also a part of Parliament. Elected by members of both Houses of Parliament as well as members of State Legislative Assemblies, you represent both our Union and the States, and you are the final defender of the Constitution and federalism along with the Supreme Court. This is, therefore/ a fit case where the President should exercise his constitutional duty independently before recommending introduction of any Bill to divide the State of Andhra Pradesh. This is a defining moment not for Andhra Pradesh alone, but for our federal Constitution and India itself.”  

The Lok Satta Party president recalled that Andhra Pradesh was formed with the prior consent of the then Andhra State Legislature, and the then Hyderabad State Legislature. When two popular movements for a separate State were launched in the three regions - in Telangana in 1969-70, and in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema in 1972-73 - it was the Union Government which encouraged all regions to arrive at a negotiated settlement, and put corresponding constitutional safeguards in place to protect the interests of all regions.

“On the basis of an explicit compact that the State would remain united, millions of people migrated to other regions and to the capital city of Hyderabad, and built their lives, livelihoods and the State’s economy.”  

“Undoubtedly there is large support for the formation of Telangana State in the Telangana region outside the Greater Hyderabad city. Equally certainly, there is overwhelming opposition to division of the State in Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, and in Hyderabad city. Therefore, any redrawing of the boundaries would need another agreement arrived at by the affected parties through patient negotiation, and the Union has a seminal role in helping reconcile conflicting interests harmoniously. It cannot create a group of winners, and a much larger group of losers. ”

He pointed out that “Several States have been formed after 1950, but this is the first occasion when a major State is sought to be divided without the consent of the State Legislature, and without a negotiated settlement among the stake-holders and various regions, and in the face of fierce opposition from vast sections of the public.”  

“Unfortunately, there is a surcharged atmosphere prevailing in all the three regions of Andhra Pradesh - Telangana, Rayalaseema and Coastal Andhra. When primordial loyalties and atavistic fears are aroused, we have a disaster in the making. History teaches us that we should at all costs avoid a confrontation between an immovable object and an irresistible force.”

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