Vijayashanthi, known as the ‘lady Amitabh Bachchan’ of Telugu films for her action roles, caused heads to turn in the Lok Sabha on Thursday with her feverish plea for creating a separate Telangana state.
But uproar following her drama caused repeated adjournments and the House had to shelve normal business for the day, including the debate on the rail budget.
The first-time TRS MP from Medak, who was joined by her leader K Chandrasekhara Rao, repeatedly entered the well of the House to stage a sit-in and made high pitched appeals to the speaker and other parties to support the demand for Telangana.
She kept appealing to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to take note of 'tension' in the state and make an announcement on Telangana.
Not to be left behind, a section of Congress members from Andhra Pradesh too raised slogans for a separate Telangana. But TDP members waved placards favouring 'United Andhra Pradesh'. A Congress member went across to the TDP members and snatched the placard and joined his protesting colleagues.
As speaker Meira Kumar repeatedly pleaded the agitated members to allow the House business to continue, senior BJP leader LK Advani stood up in their support. He wanted the agitating MPs should be given an opportunity to be heard.
Leader of the Opposition, Sushma Swaraj, wanted the Centre to act on the Telangana issue. “Why is this drama being enacted? We want the government to commit the Telangana Bill will be brought in the current session,” Swaraj said.
When the House had been adjourned seven times and finally for the day without a discussion on the rail budget, Advani was seen talking to Pranab Mukherjee and parliamentary affairs minister PK Bansal over the issue.
The Congress' core group, which met later at the Prime Minister's residence, decided to tell party MPs to calm down and not disrupt proceedings. The government would call an all-party meeting on this issue.
In the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition uproar over the Telangana issue also forced adjournment.