Both houses of Parliament were adjourned on Monday with noisy protests over the government's plan to set up a separate development authority for the drought-hit Bundelkhand region that spans Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
The Left parties, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) joined hands to oppose the Congress move to set up a separate Bundelkhand Development Authority for the backward region. Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were adjourned till 12 noon over the protests.
A unilateral decision could not be taken on setting up a Bundelkhand authority without consulting the Madhya Pradesh and the Uttar Pradesh governments, the parties said. While Madhya Pradesh is ruled by the BJP, Uttar Pradesh is governed by the BSP.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said in the Lok Sabha that the union government had not released a single paisa for the development of Bundelkhand region.
Speaker Meira Kumar's repeated attempts to pacify the members were futile. Parliamentary Affairs Minister PK Bansal said the government would come up with a statement on the issue, but that too did not yield results with the MPs demanding suspension of question hour and an immediate discussion.
When the din continued, the Lok Sabha was adjourned till 12 noon.
There were similar scenes in the Rajya Sabha with BSP's Satish Mishra raising the issue. Other parties joined him and following an uproar the upper house was also adjourned till 12 noon.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi has demanded a separate Bundelkhand authority to spur development in the backward region.
Last Tuesday, he had led a delegation of MPs from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded a special package for Bundelkhand.
"Legislators and leaders from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi met the prime minister. We have demanded a separate development authority for Bundelkhand region," Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh told reporters last week.
The Bundelkhand region comprises Datia, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Panna, Damoh and Sagar districts of Madhya Pradesh and Jhansi, Lalitpur, Mahoba, Banda and Fatehpur districts of Uttar Pradesh.
Gandhi had visited the region last year and termed it on the verge of collapse.