No business in both Houses

Special Correspondent
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Symbolic protest:TDP legislators protesting by wearing black towels against bifurcation of State on the Assembly premises on Saturday.— PHOTO: G. RAMAKRISHNA
Symbolic protest:TDP legislators protesting by wearing black towels against bifurcation of State on the Assembly premises on Saturday.— PHOTO: G. RAMAKRISHNA

The State legislature is expected to commence the debate on A.P. Reorganisation Bill on Monday even as the two Houses remained paralysed for the second consecutive day on Saturday due to the clear-cut regional divide among the legislators.

Speaker Nadendla Manohar and Council Chairman A. Chakrapani were forced to adjourn the Houses without transacting any business on Saturday as the legislators stuck to their respective stands for and against the Bill and disrupted proceedings.

For more than a week, the debate could not commence pending clarity on procedure to be followed for the discussion as there was no precedent. However, clarity has indeed emerged after Mr. Manohar visited the Uttar Pradesh and Bihar legislatures. Mr. Chakrapani and he are reportedly awaiting an initiative from the government and political parties to kick-start the debate.

“We have evolved a procedure after seeking advice of Lok Sabha officials as also those of the two States. But the Presiding Officers cannot take the initiative in the present situation where the Houses are practically divided,” an official involved in the process said. They are hopeful of an initiative coming forth on Monday in view of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy expressed an inclination for taking up the debate. Dr. Chakrapani assured the members that the debate would start positively on Monday with a procedure that would satisfy MLCs from both the regions. Apparently he was referring to the Seemandhra legislators’ argument that the debate on the Bill without voting would be a farce. The Chief Minister asserted that there would certainly be voting on amendments proposed by the members to various clauses. No State was divided in the country without passage of a resolution. “I am hopeful that debate will start from Monday. We are talking to other parties to seek their cooperation,” he said.

Earlier, Congress, TDP, TRS and CPI legislators from Telangana, expressing themselves against disruption by Seemandhra members, said the debate would, in fact, fact help express concerns and seek remedies.

Legislative Affairs Minister S. Sailajanath created a flutter in the Assembly by distributing placards in treasury benches and displaying one himself in support of integrated State.

The Chief Minister, in an informal chat with reporters said that he was keen that the debate on bifurcation Bill started in both Houses. “The scope of the debate is very wide,” he said. The Bill was sent to us by the President to debate various aspect of the Bill. “Any resolution can be part of the debate. If it is taken up separately, how can the President take it into cognizance?” he remarked.

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