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Sushma hails passage of Telangana Bill

Posted on Feb 18 2014 | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 18 : Soon after the controversial Telangana Bill was passed after days of protest, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has honoured its commitment on Telangana.

"It is a matter of great satisfaction that we have honoured our party's commitment on Telangana," Swaraj tweeted.

The BJP leader also said that she was not aware of the decision to suspend live telecast of the Lok Sabha's proceedings as it passed the legislation to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh for the creation of a separate Telangana statehood.

"We strongly condemn the black out of the proceedings of Lok Sabha. It was done without our knowledge," she said in a series of tweets over the issue.

Swaraj said that the Lok Sabha Secretariat did not provide her with the audio or video of her speech in the House.

"I am sorry to inform that Lok Sabha Sectt is not providing us the audio or video recording of my today's speech on Telangana Bill," she wrote.

"I will raise this matter with the Speaker tomorrow," posted Swaraj on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Slamming the blackout further, she tweeted, "They say that the black out of Lok Sabha was due to a 'technical glitch'. No. It was a tactical glitch."

In an unprecedented move, live telecast of Parliament proceedings was stopped as the Lok Sabha passed the Telangana Bill.

Speaker Meira Kumar told NDTV that the telecast was stopped due to a problem.

"There was a problem, so we couldn't show the live telecast," she said.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said, "It keeps on happening."

Reacting over the issue, Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Trivedi said, "I am more sad than angry. Today democracy has come to a standstill. Point is people of this country - 1.2 billion people - have a right to listen to the discussion. Spirit of democracy has been killed. Speaker is the custodian of democracy."

Meanwhile, the Lower House of the Parliament passed the Telangana Bill by voice vote amid uproar.

With the passage of the Bill, Hyderabad will be joint capital of both the states - Telangana and Seemandhra.

The amendment to make Hyderabad, a capital of Telangana, was, however, defeated by voice vote in the Lok Sabha.

The Bill that was passed in the Lok Sabha was the one sent to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly earlier.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by Congress had earlier assured to introduce the Telangana bill in Parliament with the Prime Minister himself hoping that the Telangana Bill will be passed in its last session before the next general elections.

The Andhra Pradesh Assembly on Jan 30 rejected the Telangana Bill before being adjourned sine die.

The new state of Telangana will have to have 10 districts, a population of 35.38 million and an area of 1.14 lakh square km and including Andhra Pradesh capital Hyderabad, which will serve as a common capital for 10 years.

The GoM (Group of Ministers) earlier had submitted its draft on bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of Telangana as the 29th state of India.

India's ruling Congress party in July 2013 approved a move to carve out the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, giving in to a five-decade-long demand from supporters in a major decision ahead of 2014 elections.

Officially urging the government to take constitutional steps that will see the state's formation, the Congress Working Committee (CWC) passed a resolution on the same.

The Telangana region, which merged with Andhra Pradesh in 1956 against the wishes of many local residents, comprises 10 districts - Adilabad, Hyderabad, Khammam, Karimnagar, Mahbubnagar, Medak, Nalgonda, Nizamabad, Rangareddy, and Warangal.

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