Stalemate over Telangana bill continues
The deadlock over the Telangana bill in the Andhra Pradesh assembly continued for a third day Wednesday while Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and ministers from Seemandhra submitted to the speaker affidavits opposing the state's bifurcation.
Both houses were adjourned for an hour immediately after they met for the day as legislators from Telangana continued their protest demanding that the presiding officers reject the notices given by the chief minister and the endowments minister to pass a resolution to reject the bill.
With the extended deadline for the legislature to send its opinion on the bill to President Pranab Mukherjee ending Thursday, no debate could be taken up for the third day in the house due to pandemonium.
Legislators from Telangana surrounded the speaker's podium, urging him to reject the notice given by the chief minister to move a resolution to reject the bill.
They raised slogans in favour of a Telangana state while lawmakers from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) countered them with slogans for a united Andhra Pradesh.
The speaker asked the members to give their written speeches on the bill as his repeated appeals to the members to express their views by participating in the debate failed to restore order. Amid the ruckus, he adjourned the house for an hour.
When the house re-assembled there was no let-up in the protests, forcing deputy speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka to adjourn the proceedings for one more hour.
Similar protests in the legislative council led to adjournment without a debate on the bill.
Legislators from Telangana including ministers are asking the speaker to reject the notice given by the chief minister for moving a resolution to reject the bill.
The proposed resolution will also urge the president not to refer the bill to parliament.
Meanwhile, the chief minister, ministers and legislators from Seemandhra submitted to the speaker affidavits opposing bifurcation of the state.
Ministers from Seemandhra also urged the speaker to accept the notice submitted by the chief minister.
One of the ministers, T.G. Venkatesh, demanded that voting be held on the bill immediately.
He also sought protection for Seemandhra legislators, saying they faced threats from those demanding a Telangana state.
President Mukherjee had last month referred the bill to the legislature seeking its opinion under article 3 of the constitution.
The house was asked to give its opinion by Jan 23. The government sought another four weeks to debate the bill. The president has given time till Jan 30.
Ministers from Seemandhra have written to the president to extend the time by another three weeks as many legislators are yet to express their views on the bill.
(Posted on 29-01-2014)