Jagan seeks Pawar support against bifurcation of AP
Jagan seeks Pawar support against bifurcation of AP

Mumbai: Eyeing to gain support of political parties to stop bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy on Monday met Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar but failed to secure any concrete assurance about the NCP supremo’s backing. 

Pawar, whose party had supported the creation of Telangana long back, however, said Jagan’s demand for taking state legislature into confidence and amending Article 3 of the Constitution for carving out a separate state were “important issues” and that he would discuss these at a meeting of the party. “NCP took a decision nine years ago to support the idea of Telangana. Jagan Reddy is aware of our stand. But he has raised two major issues. One, for any decision about the bifurcation of any state, the State Legislative Assembly has to be taken into confidence.
“His suggestion is that the Centre should not take any decision by bypassing the state legislature. The second issue which he has raised is that Article 3 of the Constitution… time has come to give (it) a second thought,” Pawar told reporters after the meeting. Though the NCP president said he was not in a position to take any decision or views “at this juncture”, “those who believe in democracy, definitely they will not just bypass what Reddy has said.”
Pawar said he would place the views put forth by Jagan before NCP’s Working Committee as the issue of “respecting the state Assembly and trying to understand the views of elected representatives need to be given serious thought”.
Pawar said Jagan had given him a memorandum through which he had communicated the mood of the people of Andhra Pradesh to keep it united.
The NCP leader said there were no discussions about any political alignments or electoral adjustments during the meeting.
“I saw some reports in media that Jagan Reddy is coming to see me… And it’s a process of some new alignment at the national level. There were also some write-ups by some newspapers that NCP is in search of new partners. These show the overall level of the journalists,” Pawar said.
Meanwhile, the YSR Congress leader after the meeting said, “I tried to convince Pawar that if a person of his stature keeps quiet and lets this (bifurcation) take place, it will not stop with Andhra Pradesh alone,” Jagan said.
He said he also sought Pawar’s support for amendment of Article 3 (on the formation of states and alteration of areas, boundaries or names of existing states) of the Constitution.
Consent of the Assembly or support of two-third of its members as well as those in Parliament should be made mandatory for allowing splitting of any state, he said.
“This is going to set a new precedent where anybody having 272 MPs, at their whim and fancy, split any state without taking the state Assembly into confidence,” he said.
After meeting Pawar, Jagan drove to ‘Matoshree’, the residence of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray. Jagan’s meetings with Pawar and Uddhav came a day after he met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who extended support in the fight against carving out Telangana, saying the division of a state should be done through consensus and not for narrow political interests.
Jagan had also called on President Pranab Mukherjee and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to seek their intervention to stop the bifurcation.

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