Amidst din, chaos and an unprecedented black out of proceedings on live televison, the bill to split Andhra Pradesh and carve out Telangana, the 29th state of the country, was on Tuesday passed by the Lok Sabha.
A woman pushes her bicycle through burning barricades set along the road by supporters of united Andhra Pradesh during a protest against the formation of a separate Telangana state. (AFP Photo)
The bill to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh invited mixed reactions from several political leaders across the country:
The Congress is playing politics with Andhra Pradesh by pitting its people against each other. Its leaders are not ready to directly talk to the Seemandhra people… I never thought the Congress and its UPA government would play politics with a burning issue so badly for the sake of votes — BJP’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi
"I and my party support the bill...Telangana should be formed...We rise to prove our credibility and to see wishes of youth of Telangana are fulfilled… We strongly condemn the blackout of the proceedings of Lok Sabha. It was done without our knowledge… The Congress is playing a double game over the issue and we will move amendments in Rajya Sabha tomorrow (on Wednesday) — BJP leader Sushma Swaraj
Read: Jagan calls for shutdown after Telangana bill cleared
The BJP has said the bill is unconstitutional. But they still supported it. This shows their double game. They stand exposed — parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath
It is a historic decision. Now everyone must come together — external affairs minister Salman Khurshid
Greetings to Telangana people. This is the result of a long struggle. The bill will be passed in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. We thank Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj, CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy and each one of those who supported separate Telangana bill. We are actually at loss of words to express our joy — Telangana Joint Action Committee chairman M Kodandaram
Read: Seemandhra must be compensated: Venkaiah Naidu
Full coverage: Telangana, the troubled state
This is daylight murder of democracy. The entire nation should know what the Congress is doing... Half the house is (near the Speaker's podium) ... They could have suspended the whole house instead of 16 MPs — TDP's Rajya Sabha member YS Chowdhary.
“The passage of the bill is the biggest attack on the democratic norms of the country. The bill was passed forcefully. Congress and BJP joined hands. Our party will oppose it in Rajya Sabha also,” SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav said.
Hours later, Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee described the passage of the bill as “illegal” and said her party MPs will soon meet President Pranab Mukherjee to register their protest.
“The way it happened, it is illegal. I have no language to condemn the way the bill was passed. UPA government has bulldozed Parliament,” she said.
Trinamool leader Saugata Roy also moved several amendments to the bill which were negated. The party is opposed to creation of smaller states as it fears Telangana would provide fuel to the demand for creation of Gorkhaland.
I could not be a witness to this murder of democracy. So I protested and walked out — Trinamool Congress' Dinesh Trivedi
The Left was divided on the Telangana issue. While the CPIM opposed creation of smaller states fearing similar demand from elsewhere, its poll ally CPI supported creation of the Telangana state.
The CPM members were most vocal in protesting against Telangana even more louder than three Congress ministers, who were in the well to register their anger.
Read: Is Rayala-Telangana a Congress trial balloon?
The decision (regarding division) was taken against people's wishes and Delhi elders are trying to get the Bill passed. A national policy or procedure like appointing state's reorganisation commission, judicial commission or assembly resolution should have been followed for division. None of these is followed — Andhra Pradesh infrastructure and investment minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao