Andhra assembly adjourned without debate on Telangana bill

Hyderabad, Jan 3 : Andhra Pradesh assembly was Friday adjourned for the day without debate on the bill for the formation of a Telangana state as legislators from Seemandhra stalled the proceedings to protest state's bifurcation.

Speaker N. Manohar adjourned the house twice and the third time for the day amid ruckus and slogans and counter-slogans by legislators from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) and Telangana.

The legislative council was also adjourned without any business as the Seemandhra lawmakers demanded that the state be kept united.

The winter session of the state legislature resumed Friday after 15 days to debate Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 sent by the President for its views.

As soon as the assembly met for the day, the Seemandhra legislators surrounded the speaker's podium to oppose the bill.

Raising slogans in support of united Andhra Pradesh, Seemandhra legislators of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), and YSR Congress party demanded that their adjournment motions be taken up.

The speaker rejected the adjournment motions and tried to go ahead with the question hour. As the slogan-shouting continued, he adjourned the house but it did not re-assemble even after half-an-hour.

TDP had moved the adjournment motion on the way in which the state and the central governments handled the bifurcation issue, while YSR Congress wanted the house to pass a resolution to urge the central government to keep the state united.

Legislators from Telangana region cutting across party lines wanted immediate debate on the bill.

When the house re-assembled, there was no change in the situation, forcing the speaker to adjourn the house again. When pandemonium continued after the assembly met again, the speaker adjourned the house for the day.

The bill, sent to the assembly by President Pranab Mukherjee under Article 3 of the Constitution for its views, was tabled in the house Dec 16. However, it could not be taken up for debate due to protest by Seemandhra legislators for four days.

The Speaker Dec 19 adjourned the house till Jan 3. The house is scheduled to meet till Jan 10, and again from Jan 16 to Jan 23 to debate the bill. The president has asked the assembly to return the bill by Jan 23 with its views.

The Speaker recently visited Lucknow and Patna to study the modalities adopted for the debate on the bills in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar assemblies for formation of Uttarakhand and Jharkhand states.

--IANS (Posted on 03-01-2014)

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