Parties Begin to Fall in Line, May Take Up Debate Soon - The New Indian Express

Parties Begin to Fall in Line, May Take Up Debate Soon

Published: 08th January 2014 08:28 AM

Last Updated: 08th January 2014 08:28 AM

It appears debate on the T bill may begin after all. Telangana and Seemandhra legislators have decided to facilitate the debate, but have tricks up their sleeve to jeopardise each other’s objective.

After disallowing discussion in the Assembly for several days, the lawmakers from Seemandhra have arrived at the opinion that debate is in their interest and could be used to express their opposition to State division. Telangana legislators,  on their part, want the debate but decided to disrupt the proceedings if the Speaker puts any clause to voting. They also decided to submit amendments to the bill in a single form, instead of each giving separate letters.

The change in the stand of Congress Seemandhra leaders stems from the fear that the bill may be returned to the President in the absence of a debate which may adversely impact the interests of their region.

Said Legislative Affairs Minister S Sailajanath, “I want the debate to begin. Once it begins, you can ask whatever you want.” TDP Seemandhra legislators too are not averse to the debate but are insisting that the Centre first provide them with enough information.

But the YSR Congress is firm on its stand that discussion would mean acceptance and is determined not to allow the debate without first passing a Samaikyandhra resolution in the House.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, meanwhile, told reporters in the Assembly lobbies, “I sincerely want discussion to take place in the Assembly. Every minute of the House should be utilised for it.”

The Speaker should take steps to see that discussion takes place and the members should cooperate in running the House smoothly so that there will be a fruitful debate, the Chief Minister said.

He is of the opinion that the Assembly resolution on Samaikyandhra could be made part of the discussion on the draft bill and sent to the President.

Vundavalli’s Plea

Even Congress MP from Rajahmundry Vundavalli Arun Kumar, who is among those fighting against state bifurcation, favoured discussion and urged all members to participate in it.

“By not allowing discussion on the draft bill in the House, one cannot stop the Centre from dividing the state. As Congress and BJP are in favour of state division, it would be very difficult for anyone to stop it. If Congress does not give T state, the BJP will. Therefore, it is better that we discuss the bill and send our opinion to the President and put pressure on him to reject the bill,” he suggested.

Finding fault with YSRC members for demanding a resolution in favour of Samaikyandhra, the Congress MP said such a resolution would be of no use as the Centre would put it in cold storage. “The YSRC should give up their demand and allow the House to function,” he said.  Congress Rajya Sabha member V Hanumantha Rao, who visited the Assembly, also urged the Seemandhra leaders to allow discussion.

Meanwhile, some Telangana MLAs have approached the Speaker objecting to his announcement inviting amendments to the bill.  In a memorandum submitted to the Speaker, the MLAs said any amendment can be taken up only by Parliament and the State Assembly has no role in it.

According to sources, Congress MLA D Sridhar Babu has sent a letter to the Speaker seeking withdrawal of the proposal for amendments.

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