AP Assembly rocked by protests over Telangana Bill

Both Houses of the Andhra Pradesh legislature were rocked by protests on December 13 as the legislators from Telangana, across party lines, demanded immediate debate on the Bill for a separate State. The State Assembly and the legislative council were adjourned by the presiding officers as lawmakers from Telangana and Seemandhra trooped into the wells of the two Houses. Both Houses were adjourned for 30 minutes. With the central government sending Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, by a special flight on Thursday night, the lawmakers from Telangana demanded that the Bill be taken up immediately for debate.

Utter pandemonium prevailed in the Assembly even before Speaker N. Manohar entered the House. Legislators of all the parties, including those from the ruling Congress, besieged the Speaker’s podium and raised slogans. Those from Telangana demanded “we want Telangana Bill”, while the members from Seemandhra, opposing the bifurcation, countered them with slogans of “Jai samaikyandhra” or united Andhra. The speaker rejected adjournment motion moved by TRS members for immediate discussion on the Telangana Bill. Legislators of TDP wanted a debate on the attitude of the central and state governments in dividing the State. The YSR Congress party moved an adjournment motion for passing a resolution in the Assembly to urge the Centre to keep the State united. Similar scenes were witnessed in the legislative council.

Chairman A. Chakrapani adjourned the House for half an hour, as members from Telangana and Seemandhra resorted to slogan shouting. The winter session of the Assembly, which began on Thursday, is scheduled to end on December 20. The Business Advisory Committee of the Assembly will be meeting on Friday evening amid demands by the legislators from Telangana that the session be extended for a debate on the Bill, and their counterparts from Seemandhra are opposing this.

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