Telangana, Seemandhra MLAs draw their own strategies

A showdown between Telangana and Seemandhra legislators is expected in the Assembly on Monday when Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s notice to move a resolution for rejecting the AP Reorganisation Bill 2013 will come up for consideration.

Indications of the likely surcharged atmosphere in the House were available on Sunday when the Telangana and Seemandhra leaders held separate and elaborate meetings to draw their respective strategies to be adopted in the two Houses today.

Telangana Congress leaders, seething with anger since the Chief Minister made his intentions clear, have resolved to oppose moves to take up any resolution on Mr. Kiran Reddy’s notice and even disrupt the proceedings. They met at Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah’s residence where it was decided to write to the presiding officers of the Legislature and the Governor against the resolution. Quoting Article 167 (c) they asserted that the Speaker could reject the notice. Late in the night, Deputy Chief Minister C. Damodar Rajnarasimha met the Speaker Nadendla Manohar and discussed the notice sent by the Chief Minister. He told the Speaker that the notice was illegal as it was not discussed with the Ministers. Equally determined are the Seemandhra Congress leaders who are keen on voting on the resolution and returning the draft Bill to the President Pranab Mukherjee. Ministers -- Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Erasu Pratap Reddy along with former Minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy met Mr. Kiran Reddy, where the latter asked all the Seemandhra Congress MLAs to be present in full to take up voting.

“We have to ensure the presence of all Seemandhra MLAs to participate in voting,” the Chief Minister is said to have remarked. The TDP too gave a call to its members to be ready for voting in the House. Sources in the Chief Minister’s camp told The Hindu that the presiding officers could not ignore the views of the Leader of the House as well as the Leader of Opposition.

Amid considerable political heat, Panchayat Raj Minister K. Jana Reddy rushed to Delhi to call on AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh. After a meeting with the senior leader, Mr. Reddy said that there would no voting or resolution on the bifurcation Bill. Mr. Singh on his part said he came to know about the notice through the media reports. Sources in the Assembly maintain that the Speaker would go by the mood of the House when it meets on Monday. It is understood that the conduct of business would depend on how members react to the notice. The meeting of the Business Advisory Committee would meet again depend on the proceedings.

It is learnt that the Speaker who kept similar notices tabled by the YSR Congress and the TDP in abeyance might examine the one served on him by the Chief Minister in his capacity as the Leader of the House.