Expedite formation of separate state: Telangana leaders

Hyderabad, Dec 24 : Congress leaders from Telangana Tuesday appealed to President Pranab Mukherjee to expedite the process for formation of a separate Telangana state.

A delegation of Congress leaders led by Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajanarasimha called on the president, who is on a southern sojourn here, and submitted a memorandum.

The delegation including state ministers, parliament members and legislators complained to Mukherjee that even 14 days after he sent Telangana bill to the Andhra Pradesh assembly, no debate could take place. Union Minister of State Balram Naik was also part of the delegation.

Rajya Sabha member V. Hanumantha Rao told reporters that the delegation informed the president that legislators from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions) were deliberately stalling debate on the bill.

They alleged that Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and other ministers from Seemandhra were trying to mislead people by stating that they would stall bifurcation of the state. They also drew the attention of Mukherjee to statement by Seemandhra leaders that they would seek more time to debate the bill.

The Telangana leaders requested the president to ensure that the assembly sent back the bill to him with its views in the prescribed time. "An early decision on the issue is better for both the regions," said Hanumantha Rao.

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, approved by the union cabinet earlier this month was sent by the president to the state assembly. He has asked the assembly to return the bill with its views by Jan 23.

The bill was last week tabled in the assembly but the house was adjourned without debate as Seemandhra legislators opposing the bifurcation stalled the proceedings.

The bill is likely to come up for discussion during the second phase of the assembly's winter session beginning Jan 3. The session will continue till Jan 23. The house will have Sankranti holidays from Jan 10 to 15. Makar Sankarnti, Jan 14, is celebrated widely across the southern states.

--IANS (Posted on 24-12-2013)

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