Debate on Telangana Bill fails to take off

Normal life across 13 districts of Andhra Pradesh was paralysed on Friday following a bandh in protest against the proposed division of the State, even as the much-awaited debate on the AP Reorganisation Bill failed to take off in the Assembly and Council after legislators from the Seemandhra region disrupted the proceedings.

The bandh also disrupted bus services between Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Coinciding with the resumption of the legislature session after a two-week recess, the bandh organised by United State Protection Forum, a conglomeration led by the APNGOs Association, was backed by the Congress and the Telugu Desam, while the YSR Congress gave a separate bandh call.

For the first time, major political parties associated themselves with the employees’ forum.

Bandh supporters came on the roads in the 13 districts of Seemandhra and prevented RTC buses from plying. Educational, business and commercial establishments remained closed. People from various sections took out rallies and organised dharnas in various cities.

Three rebel Congress MPs, G.V. Harsha Kumar, Sabbam Hari and Lagdapati Rajagopal, launched a two-day fast near Indira Park here denouncing the Centre’s bifurcation move.

Both Houses of the Legislature failed to take up the debate on the Reorganisation Bill after Seemandhra legislators from the YSRC and the TDP repeatedly stalled the proceedings in Assembly and the Council.

Bangalore and Tamil Nadu bureaus report:

Transport services between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh remained largely unaffected. A senior KSRTC official told The Hindu that the buses travelling to Tirupati, Hyderabad and Mantralaya, operated normally according to schedule.

However, bus services between Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh were affected.