The State Legislature reassembled Friday to resume debate on the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013 but had to be adjourned after the members created a ruckus right from the word go.
As soon as the House assembled at 9 a.m., familiar scenes of competitive sloganeering unfolded and, utter chaos prevailed after Speaker N Manohar rejected TDP and YSRC pleas for moving adjournment motions on State division.
Seemandhra MLAs from the two parties rushed to the Speaker’s podium, holding placards and raising slogans. The Speaker couldn’t restore order even after adjourning the House twice for half-an-hour. He had to finally adjourn it for the day.
Against this backdrop, the Assembly lobbies were abuzz with speculation on what the Speaker might do if the stalemate continues. Several ministers and legislators on either side of the divide were found engaged in animated discussions on the issue.
“Going by the mood of the YSRC MLAs, it appears a conducive atmosphere for the debate is not possible. If the stand off continues for some more days, the Speaker will be forced to take his own decision. If that situation arises, will he wait until Jan 23, the deadline set by the President to return the Bill or will he prefer to send the Bill back to him much ahead of the time?” a senior MLA wondered.
According to sources, YSRC chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday directed his MLAs not to allow debate in the House. The argument of the YSRC legislators is that if they agree to a debate, it would amount to accepting bifurcation.
Sensing the mood of the YSRC, some senior ministers from Seemandhra such as Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and N Raghuveera Reddy started making efforts to persuade the Seemandhra legislators to cooperate in debating the Bill.
These ministers feel that if they cannot discuss the Bill in the House, in future they may be accused of failing to raise the concerns of Seemandhra. Hence, some of these ministers on Friday met the Speaker and requested him to try to hold the debate by suspending the MLAs who are stalling the proceedings.
what can the speaker do?
With YSRC keen on disallowing the debate in the House, some Seemandhra ministers urged the Speaker to suspend the party MLAs to resume debate on the Telangana Bill.
Some optimists in the Seemandhra Congress camp such as Gade Venkata Reddy hope the debate might begin Monday onwards. Interestingly, there are different opinions on what will happen if the Assembly fails to debate properly. Some Seemandhra MLAs feel if they consume maximum time given by the President without properly discussing the Bill till Jan 23, they could seek extension of the deadline from the President.
Their Telangana counterparts are also suspecting the same from Seemandhra MLAs and are trying to ensure completion of the debate before Jan 23 in order to upset the applecart of Samaikyandhra protagonists. However, a section of Seemandhra MLAs are worried that if they fail to debate the Bill within the specified timeframe, they may lose the opportunity of suggesting amendments to the Bill to protect the interests of the people of their region.
The happenings inside and outside the Assembly on Friday coincided with four Seemandhra Congress MPs sitting on a two-day fast at the Indira Park here. The MPs Lagadapati Rajagopal, GV Harsha Kumar, Sabbam Hari and Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, have undertaken the Sankalpa Deekha to pressurise the Centre to halt the T process.
At the same time, many places in Seemandhra observed bandh as per the call given by the APNGOs in protest against division of AP.