Andhra assembly adjourned without debate on Telangana bill

Hyderabad, Dec 19 : For the fourth consecutive day, no debate was possible on the Telangana bill in the Andhra Pradesh assembly, which will now meet again Jan 3 for the second leg of the winter session.

Speaker N. Manohar adjourned the assembly till Jan 3 amid uproar by the Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) lawmakers opposing the debate on the bill for the creation of a separate Telangana state.

The state assembly, which was adjourned a minute after meeting in the morning, reassembled after 1.30 p.m. As the Seemandhra legislators belonging to opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress continued shouting slogans, the speaker adjourned the house till next month.

The winter session, which began Dec 12, was to continue till Friday, but the speaker adjourned the house a day in advance.

The bill for the formation of a separate Telangana state was tabled in both houses Monday after it was sent by the president, seeking the opinion of legislators in Andhra Pradesh. The bill has to be returned to the president by Jan 23.

Seemandhra TDP members wanted the speaker to send back the bill to the president without debate, so that the state remains united, while their counterparts from the YSR Congress wanted the house to pass a resolution opposing the state's bifurcation.

On the other hand, Telangana legislators, irrespective of party affiliation, were urging the speaker to allow the debate on the bill.

The legislators from both Seemandhra and Telangana are planning to meet President Pranab Mukherjee, who is arriving here Thursday afternoon on the annual presidential southern sojourn.

The legislative council was also adjourned till Jan 3 amid ruckus over the bill. Speaking in the council, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy said there was clarity on how the debate should take place. He advised both the speaker and the council chairman to call a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee (BAC), if necessary, to set the procedure for the debate.

In his first comments in the legislature since tabling the bill, the chief minister said the issue is sensitive and such a bill was never discussed in both the houses.

"The debate should be within the framework of the Constitution, and its rules and traditions. It should be without provocation, and all members should be careful about the language they use. The sentiments of nobody should be hurt," the chief minister, who is also opposing the bifurcation of the state, said.

Kiran Reddy cited instances of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar assemblies, which discussed the bills for the formation of Uttarakhand and Jharkhand states, respectively, and suggested amendments.

TDP leader in the council Y. Ramakrishnudu took exception to the chief minister's statement, saying he should not direct the presiding officers on how to run the house and conduct the debate.

Amid the pandemonium, council chairman A. Chakrapani adjourned the house.

--IANS (Posted on 19-12-2013)

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