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Government of Telangana to challenge Polavaram legislation in court

Polavaram Ordinance bill for the merger of over 200 villages of Telangana with AP, the Government of Telangana is planning to challenge it in the Supreme Court.

aot-telanganaTerming the central government’s move “undemocratic” and “unconstitutional”, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said he was consulting legal luminaries and constitutional experts. “The fight will continue. The modalities will be announced later,” said a statement from the chief minister’s office.

He said passing the bill to convert an ordinance issued last month into a legislation was a clear cut violation of article 3 of the constitution as the consent of Telangana was not taken.

It was unethical on the part of NDA government, to pass ordinance in this manner, just because it enjoyed a majority in the Lok Sabha, he added.

KCR, as Chandrasekhar Rao is popularly known, said that the union government should have taken into confidence the Telangana government and should have obtained its consent before passing this ordinance in Parliament.

The MPs of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Telugu Desam Party should have opposed the ordinance, he said.

He said the issue could have been amicably settled by changing the design of Polavaram project.

Amid the protests by MPs from Telangana, Odisha and Chhattisgarh, the Lok Sabha Friday passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill 2014 or Polavaram Bill to merge 205 villages under seven mandals of Khammam district of Telangana with Andhra Pradesh.

These villages are likely to be submerged by Polvaram project being built across Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh. The central government’s move is to prevent any inter-state dispute.

The central government had promulgated an ordinance in this regard on May 29, four days before Telangana and Andhra Pradesh came into being as separate states. On a call given by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), a shutdown was observed in Telangana to protest the ordinance.

The Telangana assembly had last month passed a resolution urging the central government to withdraw the ordinance. Andhra Pradesh assembly also passed an ordinance welcoming the ordinance and appealing to the central government for early passage of a bill in parliament to convert it into an act.

The ruling party in Telangana argues that under article 3, the central government can’t issue an ordinance altering the boundary of a state without taking its opinion.

The TRS has already sought intervention of President Pranab Mukherjee to stop merger of Telangana villages with Andhra.

While bifurcating Andhra Pradesh early this year, the then UPA government had declared Polavaram a national project, according to which, the central government will bear 90 percent of the cost of Rs. 20,000 crore multi-purpose project.

The central government will give all clearances to the project and will also hold talks with Odisha and Chhattisgarh, who are opposing it on the ground that several of their villages will be submerged.

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