People protest in Andhra Pradesh over passage of votebank-linked Telangana Bill
Anti-Telangana protests erupted in various parts of Andhra Pradesh on Friday, accusing the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of facilitating the passage of the Telangana Bill only for electoral gain.
Wide-scale protests took place in Vijayawada district and Visakhapatnam city in the state where protesters burnt effigies and raised slogans against the two major parties of the country.
Protestors declared the bill unconstitutional.
"What has happened is totally undemocratic. It has not been taken in the interests of the Telugu speaking people. It is first of its kind when the BJP and the Congress have combined, and taken a decision to split the state of Andhra Pradesh into two states. I do not think anything of this sort has happened ever in the history of India after independence has come," said a protester, Haribabu in Vijayawada.
Meanwhile, a senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said her party will consider all the concerns and pleas of the people once it comes to power.
"We gave our word for the formation of Telangana. We stood true on our words in both the houses. We have been able to address the concerns of Seemandhra people up to 50-70 percent. We will do complete justice once when our government will come into power," said Swaraj in New Delhi.
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill or the Telangana Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday in the face of noisy protests.
"Sonia Gandhi and the party decided to give justice to the people of Seemandhra and everyone supported the passage of Telangana," said Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
Shinde also said that a special category state status would be given to Seemandhra for a period of five years.
(Posted on 22-02-2014)