Pro-Telangana MLAs to Boycott AP Budget Session
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As many as 99 MLAs belonging to the ruling Congress as well as opposition from Telangana have announced "boycott" of the remaining Budget Session of Andhra Pradesh Assembly from tomorrow to press for their demand for statehood.

"This is unprecedented.... About one-third of the 294 members of the Assembly (belonging to various parties) will be abstaining from the House on a single issue," a senior legislator observed, following the announcement made by the TRS and TDP lawmakers from Telangana region .

Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and Telugu Desam Telangana Forum which have demanded creation of a separate Telangana state without further delay today said that their legislators would boycott the Budget session.

The Congress MLAs from the region have already announced their decision to stay away from the session demanding an immediate statement from the Centre on the creation of a separate state.

Telangana TDP Forum Convenor Nagam Janardhana Reddy, however, said they would review their boycott decision if the government initiated any action against employees taking part in the non-cooperation movement over the long pending issue.

The statehood issue dominated the Budget Session, which commenced on February 17, from day one when the pro- Telangana members disrupted the Governor's address to the joint sitting of the Legislature. Since then they have continued to disrupt the proceedings of the Assembly.

The House had to pass the motion of thanks to the Governor's address hurriedly amidst protests from the TRS and the Telangana TDP legislators. The state Budget, too, was presented in an acrimonious atmosphere in the House.

It's more than a week since the Budget was presented, but the general discussion on it could not be initiated so far because of the pandemonium.

At one stage, some legislators from Andhra-Rayalaseema regions, cutting across party lines, too came up with the idea of boycotting the Assembly session, but gave it up fearing a constitutional crisis that could lead to imposition of President's rule in the state.

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) sprang a surprise yesterday by forcing adjournment of the House raising the ongoing agitation for a separate state and demanding a statement from the Government on the issue.

The MIM's move was seen a tacit ploy by the Government to not let the Opposition corner it on the police firing in Srikakulam district in which two villagers were killed.

"We can't let it become an Andhra Assembly or even a Telangana Assembly. We are still in the state of Andhra Pradesh," MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi remarked after stalling the House yesterday.

What strategy MIM, whose influence is confined to Hyderabad and is considered as pro-Congress, will adopt in the House in the absence of Telangana MLAs remains to be seen.

Though the BJP and CPI – known protagonists of Telangana – will remain in the House, they may not be strong enough to stall the proceedings given their limited strength.
Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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