Both Houses of the Andhra Pradesh Legislature were adjourned for the day on Friday without transacting any business as members for and against bifurcation against the State repeatedly thwarted attempts to run the agenda. The trouble in the Assembly came amid a bundh in the Seemandhra region to protest against the Centre's decision.
After two successive adjournments, Speaker Nadendla Manohar adjourned the Assembly. YSR Congress MLAs and TDP members from Seemandhra surrounded the podium raising slogans demanding a resolution in support of united AP. Telangana leaders too pitched in by urging the Chair to resume debate on the AP Reorganisation Bill 2013.
Meanwhile, the Congress Ministers hinted that the actual debate on the draft Bill would commence from Monday.
The resignation of Mr. D. Sridhar Babu from the Cabinet dominated the discussion in the lobbies as Congress MLAs and Ministers from the three regions reacted differently. Mr Babu told reporters that the manner in which he was stripped of the Legislative Affairs portfolio was an insult to the four-crore people of Telangana.
He accused the Chief Minister of provoking Telangana leaders by resorting to such unilateral actions. He said the Chief Minister has resorted to misuse of official machinery to scuttle the debate on the draft Bill. He expressed the hope that despite concerted efforts by the Chief Minister and other Seemandhra leaders, the debate on bifurcation bill would be completed within the prescribed timeframe.
The Chief Minister made light of the resignation. Asked by reporters after the Assembly was adjourned for the day whether his office had received the resignation letter, Mr. Reddy shot back with a question whether they were referring to the 'love letter'. To another question whether the decision had come as a bouncer for him, Mr. Reddy, a keen cricketer, said he was unable the understand the cricketing jargon. "I will talk to the media tomorrow," he said.
Meanwhile, PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana said he had advised Mr. Babu against quitting the Cabinet. "Changing the portfolio is the prerogative of the Chief Minister. But, I feel that even if the portfolio is given to others, it is not going to make any major difference in the Assembly," he said.
Telangana leaders met at the Ministers' Club House to chalk out their strategy for the ongoing winters session. MLAs and Ministers from Congress, TRS, TDP, Left parties, BJP and others attended the meeting where the resignation of Mr. Babu also came up for discussion.
On the other hand, Congress MPs from Seemandhra - Lagadapati Rajagopal, G. V. Harsha Kumar and Sabbam Hari launched two day protest demonstration at the Indire Park against the Centre's decision to divide the State.
In another development, Union Minister K.Chiranjeevi hosted lunch for erstwhile Praja Rajyam MLAs at his residence on Friday afternoon in an apparent bid to dissuade some of his party legislators from defecting to other political parties.