No end in sight to stalemate over Telangana bill in AP House

Telangana billCopy of draft bill reached the Assembly on Friday, but it could not be tabled because of the adjournment following the din created by both Telangana and Seemandhra MLAs. (Reuters)

The draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill-2013 is caught in a tug-of-war in the state Legislative Assembly between legislators on either side of the regional divide.

Copy of draft bill reached the Assembly on Friday, but it could not be tabled because of the adjournment following the din created by both Telangana and Seemandhra MLAs.

Monday, the bill is expected to be tabled, after which the Speaker will conduct a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee to fix schedule for discussion. However, it may not break the stalemate as Seemandhra MLAs have other plans.

MLAs from Telangana want that the draft bill be tabled in the House immediately for a discussion.

But, members from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema (collectively called `Seemandhra') want the process to be taken up in a special session next month as the President has given the Assembly time till January 23 to express its views.

The Seemandhra legislators are seeking not just a discussion but also a vote on the bifurcation.

They have also demanded that the draft bill should be translated from English into Telugu and Urdu before discussion is taken up. As the translation may take time, it will not be possible to take it up in the current session, they argue.

Telangana MLAs, jittery over these moves, are opposing the delay in tabling the bill. They also oppose voting, saying there is no provision for voting on Presidential reference.

Indications are that pandemonium of Friday would be witnessed again in the house on Monday.

Right from Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, MLAs on the Seemandhra side are in no mood to facilitate discussion on the bill in the winter session, supposed to end on Wednesday.

They are not keen on completing the formality of returning the bill to the President within stipulated time.

"We will request the President for more time as every member wants to discuss each and every provision in the bill in detail and express his or her views," Minor Irrigation Minister T G Venkatesh said.

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