Lok Sabha passes Telangana bill amid din

Feb 18, 2014, 17:00 IST | Agencies

Lok Sabha passes Telangana Bill by voice vote amid TV blackout. Hyderabad will be joint capital of Telangana and Seemandhra

New Delhi: Amid pandemonium, the Lok Sabha Tuesday finally passed a bill aimed at carving out a Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh.

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill was passed by voice vote in the face of noisy protests by Andhra Pradesh MPs opposed to Telangana as well as a section of the opposition parties.

The critics, including at least one Congress cabinet minister and CPI-M members, massed near Speaker Meira Kumar screaming slogans against Andhra Pradesh's bifurcation but they were ignored.

A fuming Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, leader of the YSR Congress, called it "a black day" in the history of India and announced a general strike in Andhra Pradesh Wednesday.

Telugu Desam Party TDP) MPs shout slogans against the Telangana bill in Parliament in New Delhi on Monday. Pic/AFP 

"The bill was passed in parliament today against the will of the (Andhra) assembly, against the will of the people of Andhra Prdesh," he told the media.

"Today we saw how undemocratically the bill has been passed... The way the proceedings took place, the way the ayes and noes were called by the speaker very clearly showed how democracy can be killed in broad daylight.

"It is a black day in the history of the country. We are declaring a bandh in Andhra Pradesh tomorrow."

Amid pandemonium and a television blackout of the proceedings, the Lok Sabha yesterday passed a bill to carve out Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh, triggering joy in the Telangana region and protests elsewhere in the southern state.
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill was passed by voice vote in the face of noisy protests.

The passage of the bill, moved by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, took a total of 90 minutes. The bill was passed amid dramatic scenes. Those opposing the bill massed near Speaker Meira Kumar, some shouting slogans and others holding placards. But they were simply ignored as amendments to the bills were taken up and then the bill was finally declared passed by the lower house.

So high were the tempers in the house that a group of Congress members from Andhra Pradesh stood near Shinde as he read out the clauses in a bid to protect him from anti-Telangana MPs.  Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said the BJP supported the creation of Telangana but not the way it was being done.

‘Black day’
However, the passage of the bill came under severe criticism from various parties. A fuming YS Jaganmohan Reddy, leader of the YSR Congress, dubbed it a ‘black day’ f r the country and called a general strike in Andhra Pradesh today.
Central minister D Purandeswari reportedly sent in her resignation to Sonia Gandhi.

Three Andhra Pradesh ministers from Seemandhra resigned in protest while Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy is all set to quit today.

“It is totally undemocratic, immoral and unethical,” said Textiles Minister KS Rao.

Human Resource Development Minister MM Pallam Raju said the bill was passed against all democratic norms.

Telangana proceedings murder of democracy: TDP MP

A supporter of YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy, sporting a half-shaved head and moustache, shouts slogans during a protest against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, in New Delhi on February 17, 2104. YSR Congress, which is stiffly opposing the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, sought Left support for stalling the creation of Telangana state and asking all opposition parties to oppose its creation. AFP

A Telugu Desam Party (TDP) lawmaker Tuesday said the manner in which the Telangana bill was taken up in the Lok Sabha was a "murder of democracy".

TDP's Rajya Sabha member Y.S. Chowdhary also criticised Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar for acting at the behest of the Congress party.

"This is daylight murder of democracy. The entire nation should know what the Congress is doing... half of the house is in the well (near the speaker's podium)... they could have suspended the whole house instead of 16 MPs," he said.

Chowdhary, however, added that his party was not against Telangana, but against the manner in which the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance took up the bill.

"The speaker is acting as an agent of Congress," Chowdhary said.

Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi said the spirit of democracy "has been totally killed".

"The speaker did not even ask for clearing lobbies before voting," Trivedi said at the parliament complex.

"I could not be a witness to this murder of democracy so I protested and walked out," he said.

The Telangana bill was discussed in the Lok Sabha Tuesday amid ruckus. Live telecast of the proceedings was stopped.

They say the blackout of Lok Sabha was due to a ‘technical glitch’. No. It was a ‘tactical glitch’. We strongly condemn the blackout of the proceedings. It was done without our knowledge.
— Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha

The manner in which the bill was pushed through by the government was not transparent and utterly undemocratic.
— Rajnath Singh, BJP leader

I have no language to condemn the way the Bill was passead. UPA government has bulldozed Parliament
— Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister

As soon as the debate on Telangana started, the live telecast of the proceedings was stopped and this is beyond tolerance
— Sharad Yadav, JD(U) leader

Pepper spray
MP quits politics Vijayawada MP L Rajagopal, who had used pepper spray in Lok Sabha last week to protest tabling of the bill, announced that he is retiring from politics for failing to stop bifurcation.

Twitterati reacts
I hope technical glitches don't become too common when they create Harit Pradesh, Bundelkhand, Bodoland, Vidarbha, Gorkhaland, Vananchal,etc
— @jhunjhunwala

Telangana’s birth is like closed door operation theatre delivery. All u get to know in the end ‘mubarak ho Telangana hua hai’
— @madversity

Will they block Rajya Sabha TV when Telangana Bill is taken up there?
— @Aagan86

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