Seemandhra legislators stall debate on Telangana bill

Hyderabad, Dec 18 : Andhra Pradesh state legislative assembly remains paralysed with legislators from Seemandhra Wednesday stalling the debate on the bill sent by the President for formation of separate Telangana state.

Speaker Nadendla Manohar had to adjourn the house twice as Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) legislators belonging to Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress did not allow him to take up debate on the bill.

Despite the decision taken Tuesday in the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting to start the debate, the opposition legislators said they were determined not to allow it.

As soon as the house met for the day, the Seemandhra lawmakers surrounded the speaker's chair, displaying placards and raising slogans to oppose division of the state.

Amid the din, the speaker announced that he is rejecting adjournment motions moved by the opposition. TDP wanted a debate on the manner in which the central and state governments are going ahead with the bifurcation while YSR Congress demanded that the house first pass a resolution to urge the central government to keep the state united.

As the repeated appeals by the speaker to cooperate in smooth functioning of the house fell on deaf ears, he adjourned the house for one hour. When it reassembled there was no change in the situation, forcing him to adjourn the house for the second time.

TDP leader from Seemandhra D. Umamaheswar Rao said they would not allow the house to debate the bill brought in an "unconstitutional" manner. He alleged that the Congress party was dividing the state for "votes and seats". He said no debate was possible in the absence of comprehensive information about various issues relating to bifurcation.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader Harish Rao demanded that the speaker suspend the legislators creating hurdles in the debate. He said while they were prepared for lengthy debate, they would not keep quiet if the bill is stalled.

Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 was tabled in the house Monday amid ruckus. However, it could not be taken up taken up for debate due to the protests from Seemandhra lawmakers.

President Pranab Mukherjee has asked the assembly to return the bill with its views by Jan 23.

The BAC chaired by the speaker had Tuesday decided to take up debate from Wednesday till Friday, the last day of the winter session.

The BAC may meet again to decide on the second leg of the session after Christmas holidays to complete the debate on the bill.

--IANS (Posted on 18-12-2013)

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