In what could come as a breather for the state government and a rare victory for the Telangana groups, sources in the chief minister’s office confided that the Union home minister P Chidambaram on Thursday cleared the file seeking the deletion of controversial clause 14F of the Presidential Order. It has now been sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for further action.
According to these sources, chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy telephoned the home minister on Thursday morning and sought an early decision on the issue as the examinations for the recruitment of sub-inspectors are slated to be held throughout the state on August 13-14.
“After going through the concerned file, Chidambaram called up the chief minister around 11.30 am and informed him that he had just cleared sent it to the Prime Minister’s Office,” said the sources. Kiran Kumar also enquired whether the matter needed the clearance of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) as was stated by Manmohan Singh when a delegation of Telangana Congress MPs called on him two days ago.
“Chidambaram assured the chief minister that the matter will be taken care of once the Prime Minister gives his approval,” the sources said. PCC president Botsa Satyanarayana, who is in New Delhi, also said after meeting Chidambaram and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday that clause 14 F was on its way out. “Both of them assured me of a positive decision. I am confident that 14F will be deleted before the SI examinations are held, most likely in the next couple of days,” Botsa told TOI over telephone.
SI recruitment exams on schedule, says CM
The chief minister and PCC chief ‘s moves on the controversial clause 14 (F) comes in the wake of renewed pressure on them from the Telangana groups ahead of the SI exams. After deputy chief minister Damodar Raja Narasimha and city ministers Danam Nagender and Mukesh Goud, it was the turn of resigned ministers D Sridhar Babu, B Saraiah and Komatireddy Venkata Reddy to meet the chief minister at his camp office on Thursday and seek the deletion of the clause. If not possible, ensure that the exams are postponed, they said.
While assuring them that steps are being taken to get the clause deleted, Kiran Kumar told the three ministers that the deletion of 14F will not have any bearing on the SI recruitment exams scheduled for August 13-14 since the notification for the same was issued in 2008. “It will only have prospective effect and not be applicable to this examination. Any change if made now will lead to legal battles by the candidates who have already qualified for the first two stages of the recruitment,” the CM said.
Telangana protagonists, however, said they would prefer to wait for the announcement of the clause deletion before reacting to it. But all agitational programmes including the proposed bandh over the issue will be called off in case the clause is deleted, they added. The T groups have called for a bandh in the region on August 8 in case clause 14F is not deleted before the SI exams are held. TOI