Huge din as Lok Sabha passes Telangana bill
The din in which the much anticipated Telangana bill was passed in the Lok Sabha Tuesday began as soon as Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde moved the bill for consideration and passage when the house reassembled at 3 p.m.
As a group of Congress members formed a protective ring around Shinde and other leaders in the front benches - including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath - MP from Andhra Pradesh Asaduddin Owaisi questioned the need for security for the home minister on the floor of the house.
"You are the home minister. Why do you need protection on the floor of the house? If you want, I can also come and protect you," Owaisi told Shinde even before the bill was moved for consideration.
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Trinamool Congress lawmakers trooped near Speaker Meira Kumar's podium raising various issues.
While the CPI-M members showed placards and shouted slogans against bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, the Trinamool members demanded a division vote on the bill, shouting slogans like "Aaj ka din kala hai, Congress-BJP joda hai" (Today is a black day, the Congress and BJP have got together).
The short discussion on the bill saw only two participants, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj and Science and Technology Minister S. Jaipal Reddy, apart from Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde who moved the bill.
As soon as Sushma Swaraj started speaking, her party MPs pointed to the fact that the proceedings were not being covered by the Lok Sabha TV.
However, they did not pursue the issue after being asked not to do so by party president Rajnath Singh.
When the discussion on the bill began, the Trinamool members went back to their seats but one of their colleagues, Saugata Roy, got active bringing in several amendments as the bill was taken up for clause by clause voting.
He moved several amendments and demanded a division vote for each of them.
Speaker Meira Kumar responded by asking members against the amendments to stand up to show their dissent. Though Roy claimed the move was against rules, the speaker differed.
Apart from the amendments moved by the government, the rest of the amendments were moved by Owaisi and Roy.
During the discussion, when Jaipal Reddy said the demand for a separate Telangana goes back 60 years and wondered whether Andhra was "sleeping like Kumbhakarna all these years", Sonia Gandhi was seen suggesting to him not to use any harsh words.
Sushma Swaraj said she would like to let the children of Telangana know that it was not only "Sonia amma" (Sonia Gandhi) who got them a separate state but this "Chinamma" (small mother) also contributed.
(Posted on 18-02-2014)