Andhra assembly rejects Telangana bill, Congress downplays move

In a major embarrassment for the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that could have implications on the state’s bifurcation, the Andhra Pradesh assembly on Thursday rejected the Andhra Pradesh Telangana Bill, 2013 meant to create a separate state of Telangana.

Amid protests by legislators from Telangana, Speaker N Manohar announced that a resolution moved by chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy for rejecting the bill was carried and adjourned the House sine-die.

“The assembly resolves to request the President not to recommend the AP Reorganisation Bill for introduction in Parliament as it seeks to bifurcate the state without any reason/basis. The bill has been sent to the assembly in utter disregard (of) linguistic homogeneity and administrative viability,” the resolution said.

Meanwhile, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao’s son KT Rama Rao expressed confidence that the bill will be passed by two-thirds majority and will be introduced in Parliament in February.At 11.30 pm, in what appears to be a coordinated strategy between the speaker, the chief minister and the Seemandhra legislators, all the members from that region converged at the well of the House and formed a wall around the speaker even as Manohar read out the resolution, put it to voice vote and declared it as having been passed.

Telangana Bill in Assembly

All this was over in a matter of minutes. Immediately, the speaker adjourned the assembly sine die.

In the meantime, several Telangana MLAs tried to rush towards the speaker and prevent him from going ahead with the voice vote. Finding the access blocked by the Seemandhra members, TRS legislator T Harish Rao tried to jump over legislative secretary S Raja Sadaram’s table and fell down in the process. By the time he could recover, the voting was over.

TRS legislator K Taraka Rama Rao charged that the chief minister and speaker connived to get the voice vote passed. “However, this will have no bearing on the Telangana bill as the opinion of the state assembly was not binding on the Centre and the bill will still be passed by Parliament,” he said.


Ashish Singh

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