Telangana ! Telangana ! Telengana ! There has been an uproar, perhaps everywhere, parliament, news channels, newspapers, internet, forums and the list goes on. The first thing which comes in the mind to layman is that what the buzz is all about?
In this article, we shall look upon the formation of new state process i.e Telangana from the constitutional point of view.
Which article of constitution empowers the Parliament to form new state(s) Telangana ?
Constitution of India has empowered the Parliament to reorganize the states under article 3.
Article 3 of constitution, empowers the parliament to-
1- Create/ Form a new state
2- Increase the area of any state
3- Decrease the area of any state
4- alter or change the boundaries of any state
5- Change the name of any state
So, from above it is evident that, a new state can be created by the parliament. This can however be done in the following ways :
However, it is not that the case that parliament can sit at any time and form a new state. A series a steps needs to be taken.
What are the series of steps which needs to be taken for the formation of new state ?
1- First and foremost requirement is that, President’s prior recommendation must be taken in order to introduce the bill in the parliament.
2- Before giving such recommendation, the president shall refer the concerned state legislature for its opinion. The state legislature, in this case, are the states who are going to be affected following the formation of new state. In our case of Telangana , Andhra Pradesh would be the concerned state legislature, from which the new state Telangana is proposed to be formed.
The state legislature, must give its opinion within the specified time given by the president. It is within the discretion of the President, that he might increase / extend the specified time within which state legislature must give its opinion.
3- If state legislature does not give its opinion within the specified time or extended time given by president, the bill may be introduced after the expiry of such time limit.
However, parliament is not bound to accept or to act in accordance with the state legislature.( what clicks to my mind is that, if parliament has no obligation to accept the opinion, then why does it seek the opinion. 🙂 )
It may be noted that, in case of an union territory, no reference needs to be taken by concerned legislature, and parliament may act as it thinks to be fit.
4- A simple majority is required by the parliament to pass the bill to form a new state.
5- Once the bill is passed by both the houses of parliament, it is presented to the president for its assent. It is obligatory upon the President, to give his assent to it.
Let me emphasis upon the point that, there is a formal procedure under article 368, which prescribes the way in which constitution can be amended. In other words, article 368 empowers the parliament to amend the constitution of India. One of the special provision in article 368 being that, a special majority is required to pass the constitutional amendment bill.
Formation of new state, under article 3 is beyond the scope of article 368. By this we mean to say that, formation of a state is a amendment of constitution, but provisions of article 368 does not apply to it. Precisely,as discussed above, article 368 requires a special majority to pass the constitutional amendment bill, but passage of bill to form a new state / alteration of boundary etc under article 3 requires a simple majority.
As per the above rule, article 4 of constitution states that the bill passed (under article 3 ) also carry the provision to make amendment of 1st and 4th schedule of the constitution. No formal amendment under article 368 is required.
As of now, The Parliament passed the ” Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 ” on 20th Feb. President’s assent on 1st March 2014, has paved the way for the creation of 29th state of India.
Why the masses are supporting the formation of Telangana ?
There are different views concerning different sections of society. Before going into the reason for Telangana formation, lets look into a brief history of Telangana.
Pre Independence, Telangana was under the rule of Nizam of Hyderabad. Post Independance, Nizam’s rule was put to an end, and Hyderabad state was formed in 1948. In 1953, Andhra state was formed by carving out area from Madras Presidency. In 1956, telangana, then part of Hyderabad, was carved out from it and merged with Andhra State. There was a widespread protest then in 1956 in Telangana against its merger with Andhra State. People of Telangana argued that, they will loose Job opportunities to the people of Andhra state. People of Telangana were educated in Urdu under Nizam, while people of andhra were educated in Telugu and English under british rule. However, the protest could not last long, and Telangana merged with Andhra State in 1956, on linguistic lines.
Supporters of Telangana argue that resources of the Telangana region are being exploited for the benefit of Andhra people, at the expense of Telangana. The Telangana region has remained backward since decades, despite having rich reserve of natural resources.
Supporters of Creation of new state argue that :
1- Separate state means more development of the region with ease in administration.
2- Resources such as water and mineral resources can be utilized more efficiently.
What are the criticisms relating to Telangana state ?
It is being widely argued that, if Telangana is allowed to form as a separate state, then Demand for creation of more states will spring up such as Gorkhaland, Bodoland etc.