Andhra assembly to debate Telangana bill from Wednesday

Hyderabad, Dec 17 : The debate on the bill for formation of separate Telangana state will begin in Andhra Pradesh assembly Wednesday and continue till Friday.

The decision was taken at the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting chaired by Speaker Nadendla Manohar Tuesday.

Leaders of various parties told reporters after the meeting that the debate would begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday and would continue till Friday. The speaker will allot the time for each party to express its views on the bill sent by the president.

It was immediately not clear if the ongoing winter session would conclude Friday as decided earlier or the house would meet again after Christmas holiday to resume the debate.

The assembly was adjourned for the day as the house could not take up any business due to ruckus over Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013.

Utter pandemonium prevailed in the house as legislators from Telangana irrespective of their party affiliations demanded that the bill be taken up for debate immediately. Their counterparts from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) opposed this.

The speaker called the BAC meeting to end the impasse.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was not present in the house Monday when the bill was tabled, attended the BAC meeting. Leader of Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu, however, stayed away.

During the marathon meeting, the chief minister and other leaders from Seemandhra suggested that a special session be convened next month to debate the bill.

However, Telangana leaders led by Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha argued that the debate began Monday when Deputy Speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka called Naidu to speak. They urged the speaker to continue with the debate.

The government finally agreed for a debate from Wednesday.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader from Seemandhra G. Muddukrishnama Naidu walked out of the meeting. Talking to reporters, he alleged that the chief minister and the speaker had surrendered before the Congress leadership to cooperate in division of the state.

YSR Congress party leaders Y. S. Vijayamma and Shoba Nagi Reddy also walked out of the BAC meeting. They were demanding that the assembly pass a resolution demanding the central government keep the state united.

The bill was approved by the union cabinet on Dec 5. The next day it was sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for referring it to the state assembly under article 3 of the constitution.

The president sent the bill to the state assembly on Dec 12, asking it to return the same with its views by Jan 23.

--IANS (Posted on 17-12-2013)

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