In a last-ditch attempt to keep the Congress flock together in Andhra Pradesh, the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the creation of Telangana has amended the draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill to address “concerns” of the people of Seemandhra.
The amendments came hours after MPs from the region disrupted both Houses of Parliament for the second day running on Thursday.
Sources said the amendments included a substantial financial package for the creation of a capital for the new Andhra Pradesh. The Bill envisages Hyderabad as the common capital for both States for 10 years.
But the amendments are not expected to help in getting the support of Seemandhra MPs for the Bill. Demarcation of Hyderabad as a Union Territory is one of their key demands.
“The GoM has cleared some minor amendments. Basically, it took into account suggestions from Seemandhra to a large extent,” a Union Minister, who did not wish to be named, told The Hindu.
The GoM, which had finalised the Bill on Tuesday for the consideration of the Union Cabinet, was compelled to take a re-look at the draft after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy staged a protest and petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee, complaining of the constitutional improprieties in it.
The government is working against the clock on the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh as the ongoing Parliament session, which ends on February 21, is the last chance to get the Bill through before the Lok Sabha elections due in April-May.
The Union Cabinet will meet again on Friday to put its seal of approval on the amended draft Bill. The government intends to introduce the Bill in Parliament early next week.