Andhra assembly remains paralysed over Telangana bill
Andhra Pradesh assembly remained paralysed even as the deadline for the state legislature to send its opinion on Telangana bill to the President of India is ending Thursday.
Speaker N. Manohar adjourned the house for an hour within couple of minutes after it met for the day as the legislators from both Telangana and Seemandhra surrounded his podium raising slogans in support of their demands.
While the legislators from Telangana wanted the speaker to reject the notice given by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy for moving a resolution to reject the bill, their counterparts from Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra (Seemandhra) demanded that voting be conducted immediately on the bill.
The protest by legislators from Telangana cutting across party lines for last four days has brought the debate on Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 to a halt.
Though the chief minister has sought three more weeks for sending the legislature's opinion, there is still no indication if President Pranab Mukherjee would once again extend the deadline. Last week, he had extended the deadline by a week.
The President had referred the bill to the state legislature Dec 12 for its opinion under Article 3 of the Constitution. The bill was tabled Dec 16 but could not be taken up for debate for several days due to protests by Seemandhra lawmakers, opposing state's bifurcation.
The chief minister, who is strongly opposed to bifurcation, last Friday submitted a notice to the speaker for moving a resolution to reject the bill and send it back to the President with a request not to refer it to parliament.
Terming the bill faulty and incomprehensive, Kiran Reddy Wednesday challenged the central government to table it in the same form in the parliament. He said if the parliament admitted the bill in the same form, he would quit politics.
Meanwhile, suspense continues on whether the speaker would conduct voting on the bill as being demanded by the chief minister and other Seemandhra legislators. The lawmakers from Telangana argued that there is no need for voting as the President has only sought opinion of the legislature.
(Posted on 30-01-2014)