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Voting on Telangana bill must to know assembly's opinion: CM
Wednesday January 8, 2014 9:30 PM, IANS

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Wednesday said the opinion of the assembly on the state reorganisation bill can be known only through voting.

On a day when the assembly finally began a debate on the draft Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013 sent by the president, the chief minister said no state in the country was bifurcated against the opinion of its assembly.

"Voting has taken place everywhere. How do you take opinion of the house? It is of course through voting," he told a press conference at his camp office.

Kiran Reddy, who is opposed to the state's bifurcation, said no state assembly in the past has opposed reorganisation and that the centre went ahead with the bifurcation only after the consent of the concerned state assembly.

Asked what would be his future course of action in opposing the bifurcation, he said: "You will see in the assembly what I will do."

There has been speculation that the chief minister will resign and float a new political party. He, however, termed this as figment of imagination by the media.

The chief minister refused to speak on the bill, saying he would express his views only in the assembly.

He appealed to the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) to prove their commitment to "samaikyandhra" (united Andhra Pradesh) by expressing their views during the debate on the bill.

Kiran Reddy disagreed that the debate on the bill amounted to agreeing for bifurcation.

He said the views of the house would be taken into consideration by the president while taking a decision.

"Based on our views expressed in the house, president and parliament, if it goes to parliament, will take a decision. Time has come for us to express views as representatives of people in this difficult time," he said.

Kiran Reddy said it was only through debate that people will know the losses or advantages of bifurcation.

"We can express our views on what kind of problems people will face in irrigation, drinking water, employment, education, healthcare and other sectors," he said.

The bill was sent by the president to the assembly last month for its views under Article 3 of the Constitution. He asked the assembly to return the bill with its views by Jan 23.

The bill was tabled in the assembly Dec 16 but the debate could not begin as TDP and YSRCP stalled the house.

The debate finally began Wednesday amid utter pandemonium. A few minutes after Tourism Minister Vatti Vasant Kumar initiated the debate, the speaker adjourned the house for the day.

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