Deadlock continues over Telangana bill in Andhra assembly

Hyderabad, Jan 6 : The logjam in the Andhra Pradesh assembly over the debate on the bill for formation of separate Telangana state continued Monday with the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) failing to resolve it.

For the third consecutive day, the house was adjourned without any debate on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 sent by President Pranab Mukherjee to know the legislature's view.

There was no consensus among political parties at the three-hour meeting of the BAC chaired by Speaker N. Manohar. The panel decided to meet again in the afternoon.

As soon as the house met at 9 a.m., legislators from Seemandhra region (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) surrounded the speaker's podium, demanding that the state be kept united. The lawmakers from Telangana were also on their feet to demand an immediate debate on the bill.

Amid the pandemonium, the speaker adjourned the house and convened the BAC meeting.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and leader of opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu stayed away from the meeting, which failed to break the deadlock.

The assembly, which re-assembled after the BAC meeting at 1 p.m., was adjourned within two minutes.

Amid ruckus created by the legislators from both the regions, the speaker adjourned the house till Tuesday. The speaker asked the members to submit their amendments to the bill by Jan 10.

At the BAC meeting, political parties remained divided along regional lines.

The YSR Congress reiterated that the bill be taken up for debate only after passing a resolution to keep the state united. Seemandhra legislators of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) also opposed the debate on the bill without a comprehensive debate.

The newly appointed Legislative Affairs Minister S. Sailajanth urged Seemandhra legislators to cooperate in the debate on the bill but in vain.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Telangana legislators of TDP demanded that Seemandhra legislators stalling the house be suspended to facilitate a debate on the bill.

President Mukherjee, who referred the bill to the assembly on Dec 12, has given time till Jan 23 to send it back with its views.

The bill was tabled in the house Dec 16 but no debate could be taken up. On Dec 19, the house was adjourned till Jan 3.

The second phase of the winter session will continue till Jan 23 with Sankranti holidays from Jan 10-16.

--IANS (Posted on 06-01-2014)

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