Kiran, Chandrababu skip crucial meeting

Kiran, Chandrababu skip crucial meeting

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and Leader of the Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu were conspicuous by their absence at a crucial Business Advisory Council (BAC) meeting on Monday, called to resolve the impasse over a debate on the draft AP Reorganisation Bill, 2013.

Though Reddy and Naidu were present in their respective chambers in the Assembly, they did not attend the meeting.

They were also absent from proceedings in the Assembly when the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, was tabled, leading to utter confusion on whether the bill was actually introduced or not. Speaker Nadendla Manohar has not given his ruling on the issue so far.

The BAC, which met twice, failed to reach a conclusion because the Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress members made it clear that they would not allow the debate to commence unless a resolution for keeping Andhra Pradesh united was tabled first.

Telugu Desam Party (TDP) members from the Seemandhra region said they would cooperate only if all the background material was tabled along with the bill to initiate a meaningful debate.

“We will debate if the chief minister places before the House the 20 lacunae identified by the government in the [Telangana] draft Bill,” TDP legislator Payyavula Keshav said.

After two rounds of the BAC, Speaker Manohar gave members the option of sending their amendments and opinions on the Telangana Bill in writing by 1pm on Friday, after which the House will be adjourned till January 17 for the Sankranti festival.

The BAC also decided to conduct a session of the House on Saturday, January 18 to make up for a lost day.

In an informal briefing,  Reddy said there will be voting not just on amendments to the draft bill, but voting on every aspect.

“All the amendments to the Bill could be put for voting,” he said. The chief minister also made it clear that Speaker Manohar has sought amendments in writing and not oral opinions of legislators.

The MLAs were asked to give their opinions and amendments on plain sheets of paper and not on their official letterheads.

The Assembly and the Council adjourned without any debate for the fourth consecutive day as commotion and disruptions continued.

Students of Osmania University clashed with police after they were prevented from taking out a rally towards the Andhra Pradesh Assembly. Students pelted stones at Paramilitary forces. Security forces responded by lobbing tear gas shells at the protestors.

The students demanded that the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill or Telangana Bill should be taken up for discussion in the ongoing session of the Assembly and also expressed their ire over divesting Civil Supplies Minister D Sridhar Babu of the key Legislative Affairs portfolio.

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