AP CM skips Delhi visit due to House debate on Telangana Bill

Reddy has informed Singh, in-charge of Congress affairs in Andhra Pradesh, he is not coming to Delhi in view of the ongoing debate on the draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, official sources said.

The CM was supposed to visit Delhi to meet Singh to discuss the next month’s biennial elections to Rajya Sabha to fill six vacancies from the state. President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday gave seven more days to the Assembly (till January 30) to debate the Bill before returning it to the centre which has promised to table the legislation in the upcoming session of Parliament.

The president’s decision came following a request from the Andhra Pradesh government, which sought four weeks extension of the January 23 deadline fixed by him while sending the Bill to the Assembly last month. Reddy had also stayed away from the January 17 AICC meet in the national capital in view of the session.

Seemandhra, Telangana MLAs stick to their stand

Meanwhile, legislators from Seemandhra and Telangana on Friday made forceful assertions about their respective stands on the proposed division of Andhra Pradesh during the ongoing debate in the Assembly. While MLAs from Seemandhra opposed any division of Andhra Pradesh, their counterparts from Telangana strongly supported statehood for the region.

Around five minutes was given to each member to ensure maximum participation in the debate on draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, which envisages bifurcation of the state. Alleging that Telangana suffered injustice, Women and Child Welfare minister Sunita Laxma Reddy, who hails from Telangana, said statehood is a long-pending demand of the people of the region. She demanded the Pranahita-Chevella irrigation project be declared a national project for the benefit of the region and her native Medak district.

Noting that all development in AP has been Hyderabad-centric, mines minister Galla Aruna Kumari, who hails from Seemandhra, wondered where the people of coastal AP and Rayalaseema would go for education and jobs post-division. Rayalaseema remained backward with no substantial development taking place in the industrial, education and other spheres, she said.

Muddukrishnama Naidu (TDP), who belongs to Seemandhra, alleged there was a direction from the Centre to expedite the process concerning the Bill, which he said is objectionable. Rural development minister Manikya Varaprasad, also hailing from Seemandhra, said the TDP leader can seek more time for debate but it is not correct to attribute any motives to top constitutional functionaries.
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