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Lok Sabha passes Telangana Bill

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 13, 2018 Published on February 18, 2014

A Telangana farmer expressing his joy with other supporters and celebrating the formation of Telangana State in Hyderabad on Tuesday. Photo: P V Sivakumar   -  Business Line

Advocates trying to prevent judges from entering into the District Courts Complex protesting bifurcation of State, in Guntur on Tuesday. Photo: T.Vijaya Kumar   -  The Hindu

Emotional outbursts seen in House; focus shifts to Rajya Sabha

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the contentious Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014, to create a separate Telangana State, through a voice vote. The Bill was passed in the face of volatile protests, which turned the House into a virtual battleground.

The Bill now has to be passed in the Rajya Sabha — before the 15{+t}{+h} Lok Sabha, which has just three working days left, winds up. Else it will lapse. And that possibility cannot be ruled out given the current atmosphere in Parliament.

Charged atmosphere

On Tuesday, the momentous occasion evoked emotional outbursts from both supporters as well as detractors of the Bill. A visibly sentimental Congress MP, Ponnam Prabhakar, rushed towards his party President Sonia Gandhi and touched her feet shortly before the House adopted the Bill.

Members of the parties opposing the Bill stood in the Well of the House and shouted slogans: “ Aaj ka din kaala hai, Congress-BJP joda hai (It’s a dark day; the Congress and the BJP have come together).”

The BJP, on its part, was peeved not just at the chaotic manner in which the Bill was passed but also at the ruling party’s refusal to acknowledge the principal Opposition’s decision to back the Bill.

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj made an appeal to the people of Telangana to remember the contribution of “Chinnamma (little mother, a reference to herself), and not just Soniamma”. She also flayed the Congress for not being able to control its own MPs.

Better prepared

In the wake of violent protests last week, when Seemandhra MP Lagadapati Rajagopal fired pepper spray in the House, the treasury benches were extremely alert.

Congress MPs Aaron Rashid, Lal Singh, Bhakta Charan Das, Hamdullah Syed and others had formed a cordon around the front rows of the treasury benches, where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Congress President Sonia Gandhi were seated.

As soon as the Home Minister moved the Bill, pandemonium broke out, with Trinamool Congress, CPI (M) and Congress MPs from Seemandhra continuously shouting slogans and rushing to the Well of the House.

Sop for Seemandhra

Moving the Bill, Shinde said the Centre would give a special financial package to Seemandhra, a residual part of Andhra Pradesh, to address the grievances of the people of that region.

The Bill dividing Andhra Pradesh was passed with only Swaraj and Congress Minister S. Jaipal Reddy making speeches.

The focus will now shift to the Rajya Sabha. To ensure smooth passage in the Upper House as well, the Government will have to suspend at least half a dozen MPs protesting the move.

Within the Congress, too, members such as KVP Ramachandra Rao and Renuka Chowdhury are opposed to the division of the State.

Published on February 18, 2014
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