Vinod Kumar seeks increase in Assembly seats

State Planning Board vice-chairman B. Vinod Kumar has demanded that the Central government take steps to increase the number of Assembly seats in the two Telugu States as assured in the State Reorganisation Act.

Mr. Vinod Kumar charged the Centre with lacking commitment on the issue and said the seats could be enhanced if the Centre displayed its commitment to the implementation of the promises made to Telangana. The Centre could make necessary amendments to the Reorganisation Act for increasing the number of Assembly seats from 119 to 153 as assured in the Act.

He wondered why the Centre was reluctant on increasing the seats when it was possible with a small amendment to the Act. Mr. Vinod Kumar was responding to a reply given by the Centre in Parliament that increase in Assembly seats in Telugu States was not possible till 2026.

He said the Reorganisation Act was amended more than once in the past few years. The Centre made amendments to transfer seven mandals in Khammam district to Andhra Pradesh in spite of the opposition from Telangana. “Why is the Centre reluctant now?” he asked.

He recalled that he had introduced a private member bill in Parliament, seeking enhancement of seats in the Assembly in the past. Mr. Vinod Kumar said he along with MP K. Keshav Rao met the then minister M. Venkaiah Naidu as well as officials of Law Ministry who confirmed that increase in the number of seats was possible. The Centre should accordingly take steps to ensure that the seats were increased in accordance with the provisions in the Reorganisation Act.

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