A consensus remained elusive on taking up debate on the controversial draft AP Reorganisation Bill 2013 in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly even as Speaker gave members time till January 10 to propose amendments, if any, to it.

At the same time, the Speaker Nadendla Manohar said voting would be taken up on the draft Bill, clause by clause, and also that members who could not speak in the House and could submit their opinion in writing.

“All this will be recorded as part of the House proceedings and returned to the Centre along with the draft Bill,” the Speaker assured the Assembly Business Advisory Committee (BAC) in Hyderabad this afternoon.

The draft Bill was referred to the state Legislature by the President under Article 3 of the Constitution and given time till January 23 to the House to express its views and return the Bill.

The Speaker convened the meeting of the BAC to break the deadlock in the House as the YSR Congress legislators remained firm on their demand that a resolution be passed opposing the bifurcation of the state and the Telugu Desam wanted the draft Bill returned to the Centre seeking elaborate information on various clauses, besides the “aims and objects” and the financial statement.

The Assembly could not transact any business in the last three days since the winter session resumed on the January 3 after a two-week break.

At the BAC meeting held in two spells on Monday, it was Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi who insisted on a clear announcement from the Speaker on the demand for voting on the draft Bill as also whether or not the debate on it was initiated in the first.

The Speaker sought to put to rest the controversy on whether or not the debate on the draft Bill actually started in the House after it was tabled on December 16.

While the Seemaandhra side, including Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, maintained that the debate had not started and the draft Bill was only tabled, the Telangana side, led by Deputy Chief Minister Damodara Rajanarasimha, asserted that the debate had started.

The Speaker finally told the BAC on Monday that debate had indeed been “initiated” and that voting would be taken up on each clause but not on the draft Bill as such.

The YSRC, however, pressed its demand that a resolution be adopted by the House opposing the bifurcation but the party was told that it was not possible since the debate on the draft Bill had begun.

Telugu Desam Legislature Party deputy leader Gali Muddukrishnama Naidu walked out of the BAC meeting protesting the government’s refusal to return the draft Bill to the Centre for clarifications.

Legislators from Telangana, cutting across party lines, wanted suspension of members from the House if they continued to disrupt the proceedings, to enable smooth discussion on the draft Bill.