Stalemate persists on Telangana bill in Andhra legislature
Stalemate continued in Andhra Pradesh legislature over Telangana bill as no debate could be taken up for the second day Tuesday while the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) failed to find a solution.
With just two days remaining for the legislature to send back the bill to the president with its opinion, the BAC meeting presided over by Speaker N. Manohar could not resolve the deadlock.
While legislators from Telangana stuck to their demand that the speaker reject the notice given by the chief minister for rejecting the bill, their counterparts from Seemandhra backed the chief minister and insisted that voting be taken up on the bill.
The BAC meeting was held after legislators from Telangana stalled the proceedings in both the houses demanding the presiding officers to reject notices given by the chief minister. For the second consecutive day, no debate could be taken up on the bill in both the assembly and the council, which witnessed an uproar.
The speaker adjourned the house for the day after two earlier adjournments failed to cool the tempers of Telangana legislators, who accused the chief minister of conspiring to stall formation of Telangana state.
The lawmakers in the legislative council also did not allow Chairman A. Chakrapani to take up the bill for the debate. Amid utter pandemonium, the council was also adjourned thrice, the third time for the day.
As soon as the assembly met for the day in the morning, Telangana legislators surrounded the podium to press for their demand.
The lawmakers from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) also rushed towards the podium, raising slogans in support of united Andhra Pradesh.
Ministers from Telangana, who had surrounded the speaker's podium on the same issue Monday, lodged their protest Tuesday by standing near their seats.
Repeated appeals by the speaker to the agitating legislators to allow him to take up debate on Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 failed to restore order. He advised the members to express their views by participating in the debate.
The speaker adjourned the house for an hour. Similar scenes were witnessed when it re-assembled, forcing Deputy Speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka to adjourn the house for another hour.
There was no change in the situation when the house re-assembled in the afternoon. The speaker then adjourned the house for the day. The extended time for the state legislature to send back the bill to the president with its opinion is ending Thursday.
President Pranab Mukherjee Dec 12 had referred the bill to the state legislature under article 3 of the constitution for its opinion. It was initially given time to give its view by Jan 23 but after the state government sought another four weeks for the debate, the president extended the deadline by a week.
Opposing the state's bifurcation, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy had Friday submitted a notice to the speaker seeking permission to move a resolution to reject the bill. The resolution will urge the president not to send the bill to the parliament.
A similar notice to the council chairman was submitted by Endowments Minister C. Ramachandraiah.
The chief minister's action has plunged the legislature into an unprecedented crisis. Ministers from Telangana led by Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha have revolted against Kiran Reddy for unilaterally submitting a notice without discussing it in the cabinet.
Rajanarasimha has even demanded resignation of the chief minister, saying he has lost the confidence of ministers from Telangana.
(Posted on 28-01-2014)