TDP members tear copies of Bill; YSRC MLA sets fire to the document

Ending days of suspense, the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 to bifurcate the State was finally introduced in both Houses of the Legislature on Monday, amid protests from members vertically divided along regional lines.

Members from Seemandhra were determined to stall the introduction of the Bill while members from Telangana demanded immediate debate on the 65-page document which was brought here by a special aircraft from New Delhi on December 12 at the instance of the President, who asked the Legislature to give its views by January 23.

As of now, the Assembly is scheduled to meet till Wednesday with an agenda fixed by the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) that did not include a debate on the Bill. Under the new circumstances, there is no clarity whether the BAC would meet again to reset the agenda.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who did not attend the Assembly on Monday and is determined to make use of the 42day time period, is expected to take a call on convening the BAC on Tuesday.

Now that the Bill has been introduced, the strategy of the Telangana MLAs would be to step up their demand for starting the debate at the earliest, while their Seemandhra counterparts would try to delay the process.

Similar scenes were witnessed in the Legislative Council when the Bill was introduced there.

Earlier, the Speaker adjourned the House as soon as it met at 9 a.m. following uproar after he rejected the adjournment notices given by different parties.

He introduced the Bill when the House met an hour later and ordered that copies be circulated to members.

This triggered turmoil which spilled over to the lobbies and the media point, where Telugu Desam members tore copies of the Bill while a YSR Congress MLA set fire to it.