5:51 am - Thursday December 14, 2017

Andhra Pradesh assembly adjourned after row over Telangana bill, CM

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Hyderabad – Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy’s decision to move a resolution in the state assembly seeking a rejection of the Telangana bill has put a question mark over the legislation’s fate.

Speaker N Manohar is expected to take a call on the resolution, moved two days earlier by Mr Reddy, but it has already raised political temperatures in the state, provoking the Telangana and Seemandhra MLAs to disrupt proceedings of the assembly today.

In an abrupt move that stumped the Congress strategists, Mr Reddy had on Saturday invoked Rule 77 while forwarding a resolution stating, “The assembly resolves to request the President not to recommend the AP (Reoganisation) Bill for introduction in Parliament as it seeks to bifurcate the state without any reason/basis.”

If the Speaker allows Mr Reddy, who heads the Congress government in the state, to move the resolution, it could get the assembly’s nod as the number of Seemandhra MLAs opposed to bifurcation of the state is  more than those in favour of the state’s division. This could rob the Centre of  its moral ground to push the bill in Parliament when it resumes its proceedings on February 5, and could embolden the BJP to withhold its support.

The Andhra Pradesh assembly has time till Thursday to return the Bill to President Pranab Mukherjee. The Seemandhra lobby says the draft Bill is not legally or constitutionally tenable as it does not clarify the reasons for advocating the state’s bifurcation. Telangana votaries argue that the bill cannot be sent back to the President as the assembly has already begun discussing it.

The passage of the bill in Parliament during the concluding session of the 15th Lok Sabha is pivotal to the Congress central leadership’s strategy of seeking a revival in its fortunes in the Telangana region, which sends 17 members to the House of People. The party is facing a meltdown in the Seemandhra region.

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