Hyderabad: The YSR Congress MLAs staged a walk out from the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Friday after their demand for voting on the draft Telangana Bill was rejected.
The YSRC action drew immediate flak from all parties which alleged that the former was running away from a debate on the draft raft AP Reorganisation Bill, 2013.
The day began with the YSRC members trooping into the Well of the House seeking a vote on the draft Bill ahead of the debate.
This led to adjournment of the proceedings for half an hour.
When the House reassembled, YSRC floor leader YS Vijaya announced they were walking out protesting the refusal to take up voting on the draft Bill.
She alleged that the ruling Congress and the principal opposition Telugu Desam Party were colluding to divide the state.
This led to sharp rebuttal from Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy and TDP MLA Payyavula Kesav, who accused the YSRC of running away from the debate.
"Instead of taking part in the debate and expressing their views on the bifurcation issue, the YSRC was running away from the House. It only shows the party lacks sincerity," Anam alleged.
Kesav too castigated the YSRC saying the party spoke one thing in public domain but shied away from speaking the same in the Assembly.
Refuting Vijaya`s allegation that the TDP was hand-in-glove with the Congress on bifurcation issue, Kesav recalled that it was late YS Rajasekhara Reddy who sowed the seeds for the separate statehood movement.
"It was YSR who announced on the floor of the House that the Congress was not against the formation of Telangana state," he pointed out. Telangana Rashtra Samiti MLA KT Rama Rao endorsed Kesav`s statement and claimed it was YSR who stated there was no objection for creation of Telangana.
Legislative Affairs Minister S Sailajanath, however, pointed out that YSR only favoured constitution of the second States Reorganization Commission to look into the demand for creation of Telangana.
"That`s the policy of the Congress party," he added and accused TRS of hoodwinking people of Telangana.
This led to angry protests from TRS members who rushed into the Well and demanded an apology from the minister and withdrawal of the remarks.
The issue subsided after Speaker Nadendla Manohar pacified the TRS MLAs and said it was not proper for the Legislative Affairs Minister to make such remarks.
At that point, KT Rama Rao recalled that both YSR and also current Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy promised to abide by the Congress high command`s decision on the statehood issue.
Reacting to this, the Chief Minister agreed he had made such a statement.
"But the decision taken by the Congress (to divide the state) lacks rationale. Hence I opposed it. I will explain in detail why I am opposing the bifurcation during the course of the debate," Reddy said.
Later, the debate on the draft Bill continued.