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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Telangana rocks Parliament; govt maintains stand on Andhra division

HT Correspondent and Agencies, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 07, 2014
First Published: 15:48 IST(7/2/2014) | Last Updated: 12:24 IST(10/2/2014)

The Telangana issue took its toll on the proceedings of Parliament for the third consecutive day on Friday, turning the first week of the extended Winter Session into a complete washout even as the Centre asked all parties to settle the issue of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

As soon as Lok Sabha met for the day, members from Andhra Pradesh cutting across party lines began shouting slogans for and against creation of Telangana and entered the Well.

Three parliamentarians from Andhra Pradesh Friday served no-confidence notices in Lok Sabha against the Manmohan Singh government for its decision to carve out Telangana from the state.

Read: UPA proposes to keep Hyderabad out of Telangana

Harsha Kumar of the Congress, M Venugopal Reddy of the Telugu Desam Party and M Rajamohan Reddy of the YSR Congress served separate notice to test the government's strength in the House.

Similar notices were served Thursday, but could not be taken up amidst the din that led to the adjournment of the house for the day.

The notices for no-confidence motion could not be taken up as Speaker Meira Kumar's repeated pleas to the agitated members went unheeded.

She said that since the House was not in order, she could not ascertain whether the notices had the support of the requisite 50 MPs.

As the din continued, Kumar adjourned the House for the day in the afternoon. It was adjourned till noon when it had assembled for the day.

Read: 2 MPs give no-trust motion notice against UPA govt

Similar scenes prevailed in the upper house as well.

In Rajya Sabha, an exasperated chairman Hamid Ansari remarked, "For several days now, we have been in a situation where we are being forced to witness deviations of decorum of House when members rush into the Well.

"I wish to inform the members that this will now be reflected precisely in the proceedings of the House."

Read: Key bills lined up, but winter session may be a washout

He said this after TDP members rushed into the Well carrying banners that read "Save Andhra Pradesh" to oppose creation of Telangana. They were joined by DMK members with "Save Tamil Fishermen" banners.

The House was adjourned twice before lunch and then for the day a little after 2.30pm amid similar scenes with TDP and AIADMK members in the Well, and Bharatiya Janata Party, Asom Gana Parishad and others on their feet demanding discussions on AgustaWestland scam and the death of Nido Taniam, a northeast student in Delhi.

Lok Sabha also saw Akali Dal members on their feet with placards protesting 1984 anti-Sikh riots and Samajwadi Party MPs in the Well demanding quota for 17 castes.

Read: PM hopes Parliament will function smoothly


Govt meeting

The disruptions in Parliament took place on a day when a special meeting of the Union Cabinet has on its agenda the bill on carving out Telangana - an issue on which the state is sharply divided on regional lines.

Asserting that Telangana is something that has already been promised, the government has asked all parties to settle the issue finally.

"Let us see. This is something, which is already promised," home minister Sushilkumar Shinde told reporters outside Parliament.

He was asked whether the Union Cabinet will clear the Telangana bill in its meeting later in the evening so that it can be brought before Parliament for passage.

Read: Telangana opponents dig in heels as Centre finalises draft bill

Parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath said disruptions over Telangana are not a Congress versus other parties issue.

"This issue is not about Congress MPs. It's a question of Seemandhra MPs versus TDP MPs. My appeal is to all members is that they have to understand that if the issue is not solved in the 15th Lok Sabha, it will have to be settled in the next.

"Even then there will 17 MPs from Telangana and 25 from Seemandhra. This matter can only be put to rest by Parliament and by vote because there will always be members from Telangana and from Seemandhra. You can oppose it but opposing is different from obstruction. Disrupting Parliament proceedings weakens democracy and Parliamentary system," Nath told reporters.

Read: Chandrababu meets Uddhav Thackeray over Telangana

To a question as to whether the bill is expected to come to Parliament next week, Nath said, "We can always expect."


SC not to interfere

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay tabling of the Telangana bill in Parliament, saying it did not want to interfere at this stage.

A bench comprising justice HL Dattu and justice SA Bobde declined to pass any direction to the Centre on a batch of petitions challenging the carving of the new state of Telangana out of Andhra Pradesh.

The bench referred to its earlier order of November 18, 2013, when it had said that it was premature at that time to entertain any petition relating to the opposition to the bifurcation of the state.

"We do not see any change in the stage between November 18, 2013 and today (February 6, 2013). So we decline to interfere at this stage," the bench said.

Read: Telangana opponents dig in heels as Centre finalises draft bill

However, it clarified that the averment made in the writ petitions are open to be entertained at an appropriate stage.

Those who are opposing the proposed creation of Telangana sought the stay saying that there was all likelihood that the bill will be tabled in Parliament on February 10 and if it becomes a law, it will become an irreversible process.

Read: Andhra division must be peaceful, says Manmohan

They also submitted that since the Andhra Pradesh assembly has unanimously rejected the draft bill, it should not be allowed to be tabled in the same form.

The bench passed the brief order after almost one-and-a-half hours of hearing during which all the petitioners were heard.

Read: Cong fears parties may not aid Telangana formation

Full Coverage: Telangana tussle


(With inputs from PTI, ANI)

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