Andhra Pradesh assembly sees ruckus over Telangana bill
The debate on the bill for the formation of a separate Telangana state finally began in the Andhra Pradesh assembly Wednesday, but the house was adjourned within few minutes amid strong protests by the YSR Congress Party.
There was an uproar in the house when Tourism Minister Vatti Vasant Kumar initiated the debate, strongly opposing the bill for the bifurcation of the state.
Opposing even the debate, Seemandhra legislators of YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) raised slogans in support of a united Andhra Pradesh.
YSRCP lawmakers, who surrounded the speaker's podium, tore copies of the bill and flung the pieces in the air.
Amid utter pandemonium and shouting of slogans, Speaker N. Manohar adjourned the house till Thursday.
When the house re-assembled in the afternoon after two adjournments in the morning, Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy appealed to members to cooperate in conducting the debate.
After his assurance that the government would provide information on issues mentioned in the bill, Seemandhra legislators of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) called off their protest.
Speaker N. Manohar asked Vasant Kumar to initiate the debate. However, YSRCP members continued their protest demanding that the house first pass a resolution to appeal to the central government to keep the state united.
The tourism minister said the bill was against the sentiments of people of Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra.
Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 sent by the president on Dec 12 was tabled in the assembly on Dec 16, but no debate could be taken up due to protests by Seemandhra members for four days before both the houses were adjourned till Jan 3.
After the winter session resumed Jan 3, Seemandhra lawmakers of TDP and YSRCP continued their protest and did not allow the speaker to take up the bill for debate.
Meanwhile, the legislative council remained paralysed over the bifurcation issue. Amid the continuing protest by Seemandhra legislators, council chairman Chakrapani adjourned the house for the day.
(Posted on 08-01-2014)