Andhra Pradesh assembly paralysed as Telangana ministers join protest
The Andhra Pradesh assembly Monday adjourned for the day without any debate on the Telangana bill as ministers from the region joined the protest asking the speaker to reject the notice given by Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy to reject the bill.
In an unprecedented development, ministers from Telangana joined the legislators from the region in stalling the proceedings.
Amid ruckus, Speaker Nadendla Manohar adjourned the house thrice, the third time for the day as the ministers surrounded the speaker's podium to press for their demand.
They argued that the chief minister unilaterally submitted the notice without a discussion in the cabinet.
Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha and senior minister K. Jana Reddy, who hail from Telangana, lodged their protest by standing near their seats.
The chief minister Jan 25 gave notice to the speaker seeking his permission to move a resolution to reject the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013.
Kiran Reddy, who is strongly opposing the state's bifurcation, wants the house to send back the bill to President Pranab Mukherjee with a request not to refer it to parliament.
Parties from Telangana argue that the president has only sought opinion of the legislature and hence there was no need for voting. They also claim that the assembly has no power over a bill referred by the president.
The president last month sent the bill to the legislature for its opinion under article 3 of the constitution. The extended deadline for the legislature to respond is Jan 30.
As soon as the assembly met Monday, the legislators from Telangana moved into the well of the house, demanding that the speaker reject the notice.
Raising slogans of 'Jai Telangana', legislators alleged that the chief minister was trying to stall formation of Telangana.
This was countered by legislators from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) with slogans of 'Jai Samaikyandhra' (united Andhra).
Amid the din, the speaker adjourned the house for half hour. After the house re-assembled, the ministers from Telangana continued their protest.
Repeated appeals from the speaker failed to restore order. He adjourned the house again for an hour. When the uproar continued after the assembly met again, he adjourned the house till Tuesday.
The legislative council was also rocked by protests from Telangana legislators.
Chairman A. Chakrapani adjourned the house for half hour. Later, ministers from Telangana met the chairman and urged him to reject the notice given by Endowments Minister C. Ramachandraiah on the Reorganisation bill.
Ramachandraiah, leader of the house in the council, has ruled out withdrawing the notice.
He told reporters that their action was not against the president. "We want to send the opinion in the form of a resolution, rejecting the bill," he said.
(Posted on 27-01-2014)