SC to hear plea against Andhra bifurcation

Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who resigned in protest against the central government's decision to carve out a separate Telangana state out of the present Andhra Pradesh, has now moved the Supreme Court against bifurcation of the state.

Supreme Court Reddy's action follows a writ petition filed on Wednesday by the Seemandhra Lawyers' Joint Action Committee co-convener M Subba Rao and other bar association presidents in the Supreme Court against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

Reddy, who also relinquished the membership of the state assembly and the Congress party in protest against the passage of the Telangana bill in the Lok Sabha on 18 February, had warned that the bifurcation was against the interests of the country and the Congress party.

The lawyers' body on the other hand pointed out that the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh is against rules laid down by the Constitution of India and that the central government did not follow the recommendation of the B N Srikrishna Committee appointed by the government for bifurcation of the state.

The Supreme Court had earlier refused to intervene in the case saying it was not time yet for court intervention.

Co-convener of the lawyers' action committee Subba Rao said, "Today we filed the petition, and mentioned the points raised against the bifurcation process. We expect some directions from the Supreme Court in this regard.''

The Supreme Court will take up the petitions of both Reddy and the lawyers' body tomorrow.

The decision to break up the state was made ahead of elections due in April which, critics say, was aimed at shoring up sagging political fortunes of the Congress party.

Supporters of Telangana say economic development of the region has been neglected amidst pulls by more powerful coastal region and that a new state was the only solution.

Meanwhile, the Telugu Rashtra Samiti (TRS) which spearheaded the fight for a separate state of Telangana, is expected to merge with Congress after the state was formed.

However, with elections round the corner, TRS has ruled out a merger as a merger will only benefit the Congress, which would gain all 17 parliamentary seats in the Telangana state.