It was the turn of the Telangana legislators, cutting across party lines, to champion the cause of their region amid an acrimonious debate on the AP Reorganisation Bill which almost led to near blows between members of the two regions in the Assembly.

YSRC members staged a walkout after Speaker N. Manohar rejected their demand for putting the Bill to vote before taking up the debate. Their protest came as a surprise as they submitted party’s amendments to various clauses of the Bill. On the other hand, there was no clarity from the Speaker’s office over voting on the amendments.

Telangana MLAs argued that all parties had supported the demand for bifurcation of the State in the past but their leaders went back on the word. Leading the argument in favour separate State, TRS floor leader Etela Rajender said the people of the region only sought de-merger of the State from its position when the State was formed in 1956.

He said the people of Telangana could no longer remain in an integrated State as the region had been neglected in all fields, including irrigation, education and employment, for more than five decades. Reeling out figures to substantiate his claim, he said where was the moral right to seek for a united State when the Gentlemen’s Agreement, Six Point Formula, 610 GO remained unimplemented. Government Chief Whip G. Venkataramana Reddy said Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Leader of the Opposition N. Chandrababu Naidu and YSR Congress president Y.S. Vijayamma expressed support to the bifurcation on different occasions.

‘Give package for Seemandhra’

While Mr. Reddy promised on the floor of the House on March 15 that he would abide by the decision of the Central government, Mr. Naidu said the TDP would support a resolution on separate Telangana if it was moved. Ms. Vijayamma asserted during her election campaign in the Parkal by-election that the party had no objection to separate State. CPI member G. Mallesh wanted all the members to unanimously support the Bill.