Telangana becomes India's 29th state
Telangana erupts into celebration as Rajya Sabha passes Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2014 by voice vote amid bedlam
New Delhi: Telangana was all set to become 29th state of the Union with Parliament on Thursday night approving a historic bill to carve it out of Andhra Pradesh amid vociferous protests by members from Seemandhra region as also from Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena.
The suspense over the passage of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 came to an end with BJP backing the government on it despite raising several concerns.
Apparently responding to demands from Seemandhra MPs as well as from BJP for "justice" to the region, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a six-point development package for successor states of Andhra Pradesh including grant of special category status including tax incentives to Seemandhra.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi's request to the Prime Minister to give a special category status to Seemandhra for five years seems to have apparently clinched the issue and BJP came on board.
Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS) party supporters celebrate the creation of Telangana state in Hyderabad. Pic/AFP
"I hope these additional announcements will demonstrate our steadfast commitment to not just the creation of Telangana but also to the continued prosperity and welfare of Seemandhra," Singh noted.
A protective cordon was thrown around Singh as well as Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde by Congress members as members from Seemandhra region as also those from TMC and Shiv Sena stormed the well with TMC members even tearing papers and throwing them on the floor.
CPI-M members walked out in protest.
The House looked like a virtual battle-ground during the five-hour proceedings, which saw seven adjournments as members resorted to slogan shouting and tore papers describing the bill passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday as illegal.
The debate also saw the government facing an awkward situation when Union Minister Chiranjeevi, who hails from Seemandhra region, opposed the decision on Telangna inviting ridicule from BJP, which wondered whether a member of the Council of Minister can oppose a decision taken by his own government without resigning from it.
As the bill appeared set to be a reality with most of the amendments moved by the BJP either negatived or withdrawn, CPI-M and Trinamool Congress alleged "nexus" between the ruling party and the main Opposition.
Minister Jairam Ramesh, who was a key person in the Telangana decision process as a member of the GoM on the issue, repeatedly made brief intervention to assuage the concerns of members on diverse issues.
Unlike Lok Sabha, where the bill was passed after a very brief discussion, Rajya Sabha saw a threadbare debate spanning around three hours despite unprecedented protest with anti-Telangana members storming the well with huge placards sometimes even overshadowing the Chair.
Similarly, unlike the television black out that was witnessed during the proceedings in Lok Sabha, there was no such "technical glitch" on the Rajya Sabha TV, which telecast the proceedings live.
Commotion and high drama continued throughout the proceedings with Congress member K V P Ramchandra Rao staging a sit in into the Well and Trinamool members shouting "tear and throw away".
There was no suspension of any member from the House of the Elders today unlike what happened in Lok Sabha, where as many as 16 Seemandhra members belonging to various parties faced action.
Hyderabad: The whole of Telangana erupted in joy as the bill for formation of the separate state was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Thursday evening.
The Telangana supporters danced in the streets, burst crackers, splashed gulal (colours), and distributed sweets in Hyderabad, Warangal, Karimnagar and other towns.
Throngs of people visited the Telangana martyrs memorial here. TRS, which was in the forefront of separate statehood agitation, had made arrangements at its office here for celebrations as activists gathered.
Telangana is set to become the 29th state of the Union with Parliament approving the historic bill to carve the new state out of Andhra Pradesh amid vociferous protests by members from Seemandhra region as also from Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena.
The suspense over the passage of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 came to an end with BJP eventually backing the government.