Digvijay arrives in AP for final push

Digvijay arrives in AP for final push

The impasse on Andhra Pradesh bifurcation continued here on Thursday even after the arrival of AICC secretary and state in charge Digvijaya Singh for a two-day visit. Singh is on a mission to create ground for a smooth sailing of the Telangana draft bill.

The arrival of Singh at Hyderabad was marked with demonstrations at the airport by Seemandhra agitators who gathered with placards and tried to stall his convoy but their attempts were foiled by the police. The Seemandhra student JAC activists thereafter tried to hold demonstrations at the Lake View guest house where he will be camping.

Singh and two other AICC secretaries R C Khuntia and S Tirunavukkarasu drove directly to the home of ailing PCC chief Botsa Satyanarayana to enquire of his health  and later moved to Lake View guest house.

Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy arrived and spent over an hour with them. “Digvijay Singh told me that every MLA is allowed to speak out their mind on the issue and no one will be coerced,” the chief minister told his allies later.

However, Singh made it clear that there will be no going back on Telangana and the chief minister in unequivocal terms told the “peace maker” that he is equally committed to a united Andhra Pradesh.

Later, ministers from Telangana region met Singh separately and appealed to him that the Telangana draft bill should be taken up for discussion in the ongoing winter session.

Meanwhile, the winter session of the Andhra Pradesh witnessed counter demonstrations and sloganeering by Telangana and Samaikya lobby MLAs even as the House assembled to take up the condolence motions on Mandela and 30 others. On the sidelines of the session, Seemandhra MLAs tried yet another salvo at the Telangana draft bill by submitting a resolution to the Speaker urging the House to keep the state united as per Assembly rules 277 and 278.

Almost 3,000 policemen besides 21 platoons of AP special police were deployed to give complete security cover for the Assembly proceedings.

Hyderabad City Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said congregations and demonstrations were banned within two km of the Assembly in the light of the call given by the AP NGO leader Ashok Babu.

Rumours are rife that the Seemandhra MLAs  led by Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy would block any debate on the AP Reorganisation Bill in the Assembly till Wednesday, the last day of the current winter session under one ruse or the another.

The governor will have to summon another special session of the Assembly before January 22 to complete the “formality” of debate in the Assembly and return the bill to the Centre and Parliament within 40 days.

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