Tension in Andhra legislature as deadline nears

Hyderabad, Jan 30 (IANS) A tense situation prevailed in the premises of Andhra Pradesh legislature Thursday, the last day of the deadline to send its opinion on Telangana bill to the President of India.

Security has been stepped up both in and around the legislative assembly and the council to prevent any untoward incident in the emotionally charged atmosphere.
With the intelligence agencies reportedly warning of a possible clash between legislators of Telangana and Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra), more marshals were mobilized in both the houses as a precautionary measure. Officials also imposed restrictions on the entry of media persons in the lobbies.
No debate on the bill could be taken up in both the houses for last four days due to protests by Telangana legislators over Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy’s notice to move a resolution to reject the bill.
Legislators of both the regions were busy holding series of meetings since morning in the lobbies to chalk out their strategies. While the lawmakers from Seemandhra plan to mount pressure on presiding officers in both the houses to conduct voting, their counterparts from Telangana are chalking out their plan of action to prevent it.
Hundreds of policemen were deployed in the premises and also around assembly and adjacent council buildings, located in the heart of the city. Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma was personally supervising the security arrangements.
Security was tightened at the media point in the assembly premises, where the legislators of the two regions nearly came to blows last month when some legislators from Seemandhra tore copies of Telangana bill to oppose state’s bifurcation.
Additional security personnel including personnel from central paramilitary forces were mobilized around the assembly complex to prevent any pro-Telangana or pro-united Andhra group from staging protests. The three layers of iron barricades separating the assembly building from the road were further strengthened with barbed wires and deployment of armed policemen.
Tension prevailed at the council building as legislators from Telangana and Seemandhra staged protests at the main gate in support of their demands. Holding placards the legislators raised slogans.
N. Rajakumari, a council member belonging to Telugu Desam Party (TDP), broke down while expressing her apprehensions that the centre may go ahead with the division of the state.