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Cracking the whip, the Congress on Tuesday expelled six Lok Sabha parliamentarians for protesting against the Telangana bill, which is likely to be introduced in the Lower House on Wednesday in the face of stiff opposition.
Notwithstanding the Congress' tough stand, both Houses of Parliament were adjourned on Tuesday following din over the Telangana row, among other issues.
AICC secretary Janardan Dwivedi said in a press release that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had approved the party's disciplinary committee's decision to expel six MPs from Andhra Pradesh who had had given a notice of no-confidence motion against the government and protested against the formation of Telangana.
The MPs are: Sabbam Hari, G V Harsha Kumar, V Arun Kumar, L Rajagopal, R Sambasiva Rao and A Sai Pratap.
In an embarrassment to the Congress, party MPs have been disrupting proceedings in Parliament since the beginning of the extended Winter Session to protest against the Telangana bill, which was rejected by the Andhra Pradesh assembly last month.
The Union cabinet, however, cleared the proposal for carving out Telangana of Andhra Pradesh last Friday despite ruckus in Parliament, which failed to transact any serious business on Tuesday as well.
With unruly scenes prevailing in Rajya Sabha, chairman M Hamid Ansari first adjourned the House for 10 minutes soon after proceedings started at 11am, and then till 12 noon.
As Rajya Sabha met again, members from Telugu Desam Party CM Ramesh and YS Choudhary went near the chairman's podium, raising slogans of "Save Telangana". Congress member KVP Ramachandra Rao flashed a placard, demanding a united Andhra Pradesh.
Members from the DMK and the AIADMK pressed for raising the issue of Tamil fishermen being attacked and arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy.
While DMK members were near the chairman's podium holding placards, tempers ran high as AIADMK leader V Maitreyan tore to bits official papers of Rajya Sabha which carried the names of members disrupting the house.
Ramachandra Rao, Chowdhary, Ramesh, Maitreyan along with AIADMK leaders AW Rabi Bernard, KR Arjunan, R Lakshmanan and DMK leaders Kanimozhi, TM Selvaganapathi, and S Thangavelu were mentioned in the bulletin for disrupting the house.
The Telangana row and the 1984 anti-Sikh riots issue triggered a chaos in Lok Sabha as well. The House was adjourned till 12 noon, barely minutes after the proceedings began at 11 am.
As soon as it reconvened, members from Andhra Pradesh, favouring as well as opposing the proposed state of Telangana, rushed to the well.
While Seemandhra members carried placards hailing a united Andhra Pradesh, Telangana members shouted slogans demanding the early creation of the separate state.
Shiromani Akali Dal members too added to the ruckus with placards and sloganeering against the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the proceedings for the day.
Amid the chaos, the tabling of the Telangana bill in Parliament will be a serious challenge for the central government.
With the decision to expel the MPs ahead of the introduction of the Telangana bill in Parliament, the Congress apparently seeks to send a strong message to party members, including Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who are fiercely opposing creation of Telangana issue.
Meanwhile, contrary to earlier expectations, the Telangana bill will now be introduced in Lok Sabha first instead of Rajya Sabha, with the government seeking a fresh recommendation from the President after the Upper House secretariat has held it as a money bill.
Sources said the move came after questions were raised over the constitutionality of introducing the bill first in the Upper House.
With PTI, IANS inputs