YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) Friday made it clear that it will not participate in the debate in Andhra Pradesh assembly on the bill for formation of separate Telangana state.
As the assembly resumed the debate after Sankranti holidays, the party staged a walkout. It earlier stalled the house leading to adjournment for half-an-hour.
YSRCP leader Y.S. Vijayamma said since there was no response to their demands for passing a resolution to keep the state united and to first take up voting on the bill, they were staging a walkout.
She said her party would not participate in the debate as this would amount to accepting the bifurcation of the state.
Her allegation that ruling Congress party and the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) colluded under a conspiracy to split the state, led to an uproar in the house.
The TDP responded strongly to Vijaymma's remarks saying it was her late husband Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy who initiated the efforts for formation of Telangana state. TDP member P. Keshav alleged that it was YSRCP which was helping in bifurcation of the state by not participating in the debate.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) legislator K. Tarakarama Rao also targeted YSRCP for frequently changing its stand on the issue. He pointed out that YSRCP had even reminded the central government that it can bifurcate the state by invoking Article 3 of the Constitution.
However, Legislative Affairs Minister S. Sailajanath, who is strongly opposed to bifurcation, took everyone by surprise by launching a bitter attack on TRS. While clarifying that Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had only sought second states' reorganization commission to look into demand for Telangana state, he termed TRS an 'opportunist' and alleged that it is cheating people of Telangana.
The minister's remarks evoked strong protest from TRS. Speaker N. Manohar also pulled him up by reminding that he is legislative affairs minister. Demanding that the minister withdraw his 'unparliamentary' remarks, Tarakarama Rao said he was behaving as a legislator from Seemandhra alone.
The TRS member said it was Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who resorted to opportunism. He recalled that the chief minister had always maintained that he would abide by the Congress leadership's decision and when the leadership took a decision, he revolted.
Responding to this the chief minister said he would explain in the house why he had to oppose the decision. "I will explain how the people will suffer and how the interests of even Telangana will be affected. After my speech, the TRS will have to give an answer to people of Telangana," Kiran Reddy said.