A YSR Congress leader on Monday filed a PIL in the Supreme Court challenging the Centre's proposal to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh saying it was an arbitrary and irrational decision resulting in large scale protests, loss of life and revenue across the state.
The petition filed by D A Somayajulu, currently serving as a member of Political Affairs Committee of YSR Congress, sought directions for declaring the Cabinet resolution of October 3 as being unconstitutional.
He also sought direction for restraining the President from initiating any recommendation in terms of Article 3 for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creating Telangana until a rational policy on the creation of states is laid down.
The petition settled by senior advocate Harish Salve contended that "Article 3 of the Constitution cannot be invoked as a political tool to cleave a political division for the purposes of the party at the Centre.
"A creation of a new State has to be based on valid and tenable considerations emanating from a policy regarding the creation of States. Absent such a policy, the creation of a new state (or states) will be invalid," the petition drawn by advocate Gopal Sankarnarayanan said.
Further, the petition said the present decision to divide Andhra Pradesh is clearly based on the political motivations of the Congress party that leads the coalition government at the Centre, and cannot be defended against a challenge based on Article 14 of the Constitution.
"The precedent of the States Reorganization Act, 1956 shows that language was the basis of such division. Later, when no such basis existed for the creation of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand, the Centre had decided that as no rational basis was available, there would be no division of the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar until the respective assemblies by simple majority voted in favour of such division," the PIL said.
"The same precedent would squarely apply in the present case, where the wishes of the people of the affected area would be voiced through the Assembly. It is submitted that the above has been recorded in the following words in the report of the Sarkaria Commission submitted in January 1988," the PIL said.
The YSR Congress leader submitted that objective considerations for creation of states such as improved governance, better fiscal management and improved implementation of welfare measures require to be considered, preferably by an impartial body, and not merely decided on political considerations.
The petition said an analysis of the development of the Andhra Pradesh would show that Hyderabad, which is the state capital and is located in the Telangana region has been at the heart of the progress of the state, with industry, education and finances concentrated in the city.
The rest of the state, particularly the areas of Andhra and Rayalaseema have suffered from neglect, and hence, a division based on the demand of pro-Telangana interests would bode ill for the state, it said.
The PIL said Seemandhra and Rayalaseema regions have essentially remained as agrarian districts and therefore, any division of the state by creating Telangana would be wholly arbitrary and lopsided, affecting the rights of the common man.