Telangana Bill trashed by Andhra Pradesh Assembly, humiliated Congress seeks to downplay defeat

Written by PTI | Hyderabad | Updated: Jan 30 2014, 22:50pm hrs
TelanganaPolice arrest Telangana supporters during the 'Challo Assembly' protest in Hyderabad. (PTI)
In an embarrassment for the Centre, Telangana Bill was rejected by Andhra Pradesh Assembly today. The assembly today passed by voice vote a resolution moved by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy rejecting the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013 which entails creation of separate Telangana state.

Capping an acrimonious debate and ending the pandemonium the House was stuck in for the past few days, Speaker Nadendla Manohar put the resolution to vote and announced that it was "passed".

The Assembly was immediately adjourned sine die.

"The House while rejecting the AP Reorganisation Bill, 2013, resolves to request the President not to recommend it for introduction in Parliament as the Bill seeks to bifurcate the state of Andhra Pradesh without any reasonbasis and without arriving at a consensus, in utter disregard to the linguistic and cultural homogeneity and economic and administrative viability of both regions", the resolution said.

"The Bill also completely ignores the very basis of formation of State of Andhra Pradesh, the first linguistic state created in independent India", it said.

The Speaker said since the government resolution has been approved, he saw no reason to take up the private resolutions moved by other members on the same issue.

The Speaker said all views expressed by members on the Bill would be sent to the President along with the resolution.

The rejection of the Bill has come as an embarrassment to the Centre which has decided to table the Telangana Bill in the coming session of Parliament beginning February 5.

As the decision of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, either way, is not mandatory, the Central government will go ahead with its decision to create Telangana by tabling the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill in the ensuing Parliament session, official sources said.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has already declared the Central government's intention to table the Telangana bill in the next session of Parliament.

Parliament session commences on February five and is scheduled to end on February 21. This will be the last session of Parliament before the tenure of the UPA-II comes to an end.

Reddy's letter to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking extension of the deadline for discussing and returning the statehood Bill has been termed by Home Ministry officials as time buying tactic of the Chief Minister.

Cong downplays rejection of AP Reorganisation Bill

Congress today downplayed the rejection of the AP Reorganisation Bill in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly for creation of Telangana, saying it was on "predicted" lines and will not affect the move for carving out a new state.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, however, made it clear that there was no plan to initiate disciplinary action against Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and other Congress leaders, who supported the resolution rejecting the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013.

"As far as the resolution is concerned, it does not affect the Constitutional provisions under Article 3 for the creation of a new state in the Indian Union...One should remember this the bill was sent (to Andhra Pradesh Assembly) for comments and not for a vote," the AICC general secretary in-charge for Andhra Pradesh told reporters.

The Andhra Pradesh Assembly today passed by voice vote a resolution moved by the Chief Minister rejecting the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013 which entails creation of separate Telangana state.

Singh countered the view that the creation of the new state now hangs in balance after the state assembly rejected the proposal and insisted that that the Constitutional requirement of getting comments from the Andhra Pradesh Assembly now stands fulfilled.

"It (the bill for creation of Telangana) is not rejected. The Telangana bill was not voted (in the Assembly). A resolution moved by the Chief Minister was passed by voice vote... There is no vote on the bill. These are two different things," he said.

He maintained that the Andhra Pradesh Assembly debated, discussed and gave comments on the bill, which was referred to it by the President and after the extension of one week time today, the bill would be returned to the President.

"Therefore, the Constitutional requirement of getting comments from the Andhra Pradesh Assembly has been fulfilled.

Now it is for the Government of India to introduce the bill in Parliament after the Cabinet goes through recommendations and suggestions given by the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.

"Hence the process has completed another milestone, which was necessary in the bifurcation of the state," Singh said.

Asked whether Congress looks at the development from the prism of anti-party activity, he said keeping in mind the contentious nature of the issue and strong views among both sections of Andhra Pradesh Congressmen belonging to Seemandhra and Telangana region, the party allowed a "free vote" on it.