Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Telangana issue paralyses Lok Sabha

New Delhi, February 23, 2011

The demand for a separate Telangana paralysed proceedings in the Lok Sabha till afternoon with the TRS, as also members of TDP and Congress from the region, vying with each other to raise the issue.

The House witnessed three adjournments till 2 p.m. as TRS chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao and his party colleague M. Vijaya Shanthi, repeatedly stormed the Well of the House to press for adjournment motion on the issue.

Several Congress members, including M. Jagannath, Madhu Goud Yaskhi, Poonam Prabhakar and Sarvey Satyanarayana, raised slogans like 'Jai Telangana', while TDP member from Adilabad, Ramesh Rathod joined the TRS members in the well.

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj drew the attention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was present in the House for some time, to the sentiments being expressed by the members demanding a separate state to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh.

As soon as the House assembled for the day, the two TRS members walked into the Well of the House as Congress MPs stood in their seats raising slogans, even before Speaker Meira Kumar could take up the Question Hour.

She adjourned the House first for about 30 minutes and again till noon as the din continued.

When the Lok Sabha assembled at noon, the Speaker directed laying of papers. But with protests unabated, she adjourned the House till 2 p.m.

Ms. Swaraj made a strong plea for a separate Telangana, saying her party would support a bill for a separate state if the government moved it in the current session.

"Everything has come to a standstill in Telangana region. If anything is going on, it is firing of rubber bullets. This can be resolved right way, the Prime Minister is sitting here. If he says that government will bring a bill for a separate Telangana, we will support it," she said.

Ms. Swaraj also utilised the opportunity to point out the differences on the issue within the Congress.

In the melee, CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia, who was asked by the Speaker to raise the issue of price rise during Zero Hour, was heard voicing concern over inflation. But his speech could not be heard in the din.

Outside, the TRS chief said his party would disrupt proceedings of the Lok Sabha till the time the Centre comes out with a time-frame for formation of separate Telangana state.

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