Telengana Bill passed behind closed doors in Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill by voice vote, which proposes the formation of a new state of Telangana out of a united state of Andhra Pradesh.
Several members of parliament of the opposition parties like the Janata Dal (United), and the Trinamool Congress (TMC), however, decided to stage a walkout in protest over the manner in which the BIll was tabled and passed in the House.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K.Advani said that the manner in which the BIll has been passed was a perversion of parliamentary democracy.
YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy described it as a "Black Day" for India, and said that the Bill was passed undemocratically.
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said that the voice of the people had been silenced, and that this was not in the interest of the nation, parliamentary democracy, and the people. The nation, he warned, would have to pay a heavy price for this act.
JD-U leader Sharad Yadav said never saw such a bifurcation before and therefore decided to boycott it.
TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi said it is failure of the democracy and also argued that it is a right of every citizen to see what is happening inside the Parliament.
Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader M Venugopala Reddy hoped that whatever happened inside the Lok Sabha is not repeated in the Rajya Sabha.
Several workers of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi Party (TRS) celebrated outside TRS Bhavan in Hyderabad on hearing the news.
"K. Chandrashekar Rao is the Mahatma Gandhi of Telangana... finally we have won. We also want to thank Sonia Gandhi for this," said a TRS worker.
Earlier today, the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill was moved by Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha.
At a meeting convened by Speaker Meira Kumar, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj had agreed with top ministers of the government that the bill has to be passed in Parliament.
Meanwhile, the Speaker has ordered live proceedings of the Lok Sabha to be stopped so as avoid a repeat of last week's 'Pepper Spray incident' in front of the people.
Earlier, the Lok Sabha was adjourned within minutes after it met for the day.
Members from Andhra were seen carrying placards saying 'Jai Samaikyandhra' and 'Save Andhra Pradesh'.
Similar scenes were witnessed in the Rajya Sabha.
Earlier in the day, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said all efforts are being taken to ensure that the Telangana bill is passed in the Lok Sabha today.
He said it is for the speaker to decide on how to deal with the possible disruptions in the House.
The government recently approved the creation of Telangana, a move that has revived deep political divisions in Andhra Pradesh and raised fears of violence in the area between pro and anti Telangana groups.
On February 13, the parliament erupted in mayhem when a lawmaker fired pepper spray in the House in protest against the Telangana Bill, which left other lawmakers coughing, sneezing and holding scarves to their faces. The agitated protesters also broke a glass table and broke an official's microphone.
The furor erupted after Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde rose to table the bill.
The state assembly of Andhra Pradesh had earlier rejected the draft Bill to create a separate Telangana state.
(Posted on 18-02-2014)