In a setback to the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Thursday rejected the draft Telangana bill by voice vote.
The Assembly passed by voice vote a resolution moved by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy rejecting the AP Reorganisation Bill. Following this, the Assembly was adjourned sine die.
This comes a day after Reddy on Wednesday threatened to quit politics if the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, is tabled in Parliament in its current form.
“The Bill is incomprehensive and incomplete. What the Centre has sent us cannot be accepted by anybody. Even then, if the Centre tables it in Parliament, I will quit my post and quit politics,” he had told reporters.
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 reason/basis 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. (With PTI inputs)
BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Krishnapal Gujar also addressed a number of rallies.