The winter session of Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, resuming on January 3, is expected to generate much heat as the debate on the draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation bill, 2013 is on the agenda.
The winter session of the Assembly began on December 12 and the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the house had decided to take up a debate on the draft bill, but that did not happen due to the din over the issue. The Assembly was adjourned on December 19 for resumption on January 3.
The President had given time till January 23 for the legislature to return the draft bill after due deliberations when he sent it to the Assembly on December 12.
The members are vertically divided on regional lines with those from Telangana seeking the House to quickly return the bill to the President giving its views in support of separate statehood for the region, while their Seemandhra (as Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema are together known) counterparts opposing it.
The draft bill and debate in the assembly is expected to generate much heat as both the sides have called for protests in support of their respective demands during the session.
TRS and other pro-Telangana outfits have planned to organise a massive sit-in in Hyderabad early this month to press for their demand that the proposed Telangana state should not have any restrictions like law and order being entrusted to Governor. This was contemplated as a way of addressing the concerns of safety and security to Seemandhra people living in Hyderabad.
Significantly, TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao had met state Panchayat Raj Minister K Jana Reddy and other Telangana leaders last month and they decided to work in coordination over the draft bill and others in the interest of Telangana people.
On the other hand, the pro-united Andhra employees and others have called for a shut-down on January 3, when the session resumes, in protest against the draft bill being taken up for debate. The pro-united Andhra outfits plan to step up their protests during the debate in the legislature.
Some sections in the Seemandhra camp are opposed to any form of debate on the draft bill on the ground that it may amount to agreeing to division, while others favour participating in the debate on the draft and voicing their opposition.
There are some who argue that the members should try to delay debate on the draft bill and seek more time from President so that division can be prevented before the fast-approaching 2014 general elections.
YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), now campaigning against the division of Andhra Pradesh, asserts that the legislature should first pass a resolution in favour of keeping the state united to preempt bifurcation.
Some Seemandhra Congress MPs and others suggest that the members from the two regions participate in the debate and record their opposition to the division.