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AP CM announces deadline extension; gives go-by to procedure

Last Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 23:29

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy could not contain his glee after it was reported on Thursday that the President had extended time for the AP legislature to return the draft AP Re-organisation Bill-2013 until January 30.
The AP CM gave a go-by to procedure and himself announced in the AP Assembly that the deadline to return the draft Bill has been extended.

"If you want, I will postpone my speech. We now have time until January 30 to discuss and return the draft Bill," Kiran said, even as members from Telangana rushed into the well of the House protesting facts and figures which were being reeled out by him about sharing resources between Seemandhra and Telangana regions.

At around 1 PM today, reports from Delhi about extension of time ended the 24-hour anxiety which had gripped Seemaandhra legislators, including the AP CM about whether or not the President would concede their request.

Since yesterday, there was an unusual rush in Assembly proceedings as suspense continued over the President`s decision.

The AP CM, who wanted to speak for several hours listing reasons to opposing Andhra Pradesh`s bifurcation, hurriedly began his address late last evening even before the Leader of Opposition spoke.

Today, AP Speaker Nadendla Manohar gave each legislator around four minutes to speak on the draft Bill so that the debate could be wound up before night when the original deadline was supposed to end.

The AP CM came to the Assembly only after 12.30 pm, even as conflicting reports emanated from New Delhi.

Finally, after 1 PM, when it was clear that the deadline has been extended, the AP CM continued with his address after more than 30 MLAs from either side of the regional divide expressed their views on the draft Bill.

However, his address was marred by frequent disruptions by Telangana members who sought to debunk his claims on irrigation water, electricity and coal supplies.

As Telangana members continued the din, the Speaker adjourned the House for ten minutes and later adjourned the proceedings to enable the Business Advisory Committee to take a decision on the extended session after Legislature Secretary Raja Sadaram formally read out the Presidential communique.

The Assembly will now meet continuously from tomorrow until January 30, except the holiday on January 26, to complete the debate on the draft Bill.

There was, however, no clarity on whether or not the Bill would be put to vote.

As many as 9024 amendments and suggestions proposed by members from Seemaandhra and Telangana regions would have to be considered before the "views of the Legislature" are communicated to the President of India.

First Published: Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 23:29
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