Free zone: resolution adopted in House in record time

HYDERABAD: The government bulldozed its way in Assembly on Thursday and ensured adoption of the resolution urging the Centre to delete a clause in the Presidential Order that treated Hyderabad as free zone for recruitment of police. The resolution, seeking removal of clause 14(f) of the Presidential Order of 1975, threatened to nearly split parties on regional lines. But it was adopted in a record time at the fag end of the day’s session amidst vociferous protests by members of Praja Rajyam who surrounded the Speaker’s podium and a few from Telugu Desam belonging to Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.

Soon after Chief Minister K. Rosaiah sought the cooperation of all parties for adoption of the resolution unanimously and read it out, Deputy Speaker N. Manohar swiftly put it to voice vote, declared it adopted and adjourned the House for the day.

The resolution read: This House resolves to request the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to obtain the approval from the President to delete Clause (f) of Para 14 of the Andhra Pradesh Public Employment (Organization of Local Cadres and Regulation of Direct Recruitment) Order, 1975”. The resolution again brought into focus, sharp division in Congress and Telugu Desam ranks with members from Telangana favouring it and those from Andhra and Rayalaseema opposing it. In Telugu Desam, the differences came into the open. Addressing press conferences separately, Telangana MLAs led by Nagam Janardhan Reddy described the adoption of resolution as a “big victory for the party” while those from the two other regions, including Payyavula Keshav and Devineni Umamaheswara Rao said it was a ‘black day in the history of the State’. For the latter, the move was ‘initiated by the Chief Minister to protect his post’.

Praja Rajyam leader Chiranjeevi castigated the government for steamrolling a one-line resolution without a debate and not allowing their party even to protest. The resolution was not necessary, he said, as it harmed the interests of people of several districts within Telangana and at a time when Srikrishna Committee was studying all aspects.

The differences within its own ranks created tense moments for treasury benches before the Chief Minister stepped in to cool the ruffled feelings. These differences arose, though barring Praja Rajyam, all other parties supported adoption of the resolution at the all-party floor leaders’ meeting called by the Chief Minister on Wednesday to find ways of overcoming

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