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Telangana debate in Assembly from today

Hyderabad, Dec. 17: The Andhra Assembly will debate the Telangana bill for three days from tomorrow and resume the discussion after Christmas, a House panel decided today, a day after a ruckus that saw copies torn up.

The House was adjourned this morning within 10 minutes of the start after Telangana and Seemandhra legislators rushed to the Speaker’s podium, giving him no time to commence proceedings.

All Nadendla Manohar could say in the din before announcing the break was that the Assembly’s business advisory committee (BAC) would meet later in the day.

Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and leader of Opposition, Telugu Desam boss N. Chandrababu Naidu, were present today. Both had abstained yesterday when the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 was tabled.

The chief minister attended the BAC meeting but did not speak much and left within few minutes saying the bill should be discussed in detail at a special session.

“We will decide on the future date and special session at another meeting of the BAC before the House adjourns sine die (for the Christmas break) on Friday,” said a spokesperson for Manohar’s office.

President Pranab Mukherjee, who has sent the bill after Union cabinet clearance, has given the Assembly time till January 23 to debate and return the draft. In his covering letter, he has said the legislation for bifurcating Andhra “should be introduced in Parliament as early as practicable”.

Seemandhra legislators disagreed, insisting the bill be taken up afresh for debate after the BAC meeting reached a decision.

Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress, which also opposes the bill, moved an adjournment motion to demand a resolution urging the Centre not to split the state. Naidu’s Desam, the main Opposition party, wanted a debate on the powers of the Centre and the state on bifurcation.

Seemandhra leaders have accused the Congress and the UPA government of going ahead with the Telangana plan without consulting the state.