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LS looked like a battleground during Telangana Bill passage

February 18, 2014 18:29 IST

LS looked like a battleground during Telangana Bill passage

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Lok Sabha on Tuesday looked like a virtual battle-ground during the consideration of the controversial Telangana Bill with Congress members seen protecting Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and other top leaders from protesting members.

It also saw Communist Party of India-Marxist and Trinamool Congress as strange bedfellows as the two arch detractors in West Bengal politics were seen opposing the creation of Telangana, apparently with the concerns of demand for Gorkhaland in mind.

To avoid any pepper-spray type situation, Congress MPs like Aaron Rashid, Lal Singh, Bhakta Charan Das, Hamdullah Syed, Mahabal Mishra and others formed a cordon around the front rows of the treasury benches where UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and the home minister were seated when the bill was taken up for consideration and passing.

However, Rashid and Singh, as well as a Left member were later seen distributing lozenges to the slogan-shouting MPs in the Well to help them soothe their throats.

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'Aaj ka din kala hai, Congress-BJP joda hai'

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An emotional Congress MP Ponnam Prabhakar touched the feet of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, shortly before the Lok Sabha adopted the controversial bill to create a separate Telangana.

The MP from Karimnagar bowed before Gandhi as she left the House for a while.

After the bill was passed and the House was adjourned, Prabhakar sought to take out posters depicting Gandhi but was promptly told by her not to do so.

TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao, a prime proponent of Telangana, was seen walking to Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and thanking her for BJP support to the bill.

As the House took up clause-by-clause adoption of the measure, some CPM members for the first time came to the Well protesting against the creation of Telangana. However, their CPI comrades supported the bill's passage.

TMC members stormed the Well and shouted slogans like 'aaj ka din kala hai, Congress-BJP joda hai', 'aaj ka din kala hai, Rahul-Modi joda hai' and 'Sushma-Sonia jodi hai'.

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'Don't forget this Chinnamma'

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When minister S Jaipal Reddy said the demand for separate Telangana goes back to 60 years and wondered whether Andhra was "sleeping like Kumbhakarna all these years", Gandhi was seen suggesting to him not to use any harsh word.

Also seeking to take credit for the bill, Swaraj said, "After the passage of the bill, you start giving credit to Sonia Gandhi...but don't forget this 'Chinnamma' (a little mother - a reference to herself)."

The bill was introduced in the House on February 13 amid unprecedented scenes marked by fisticuffs, pepper spraying and breaking of House articles. 16 MPs belonging to Seemandhra region were suspended and they could not attend the House on Tuesday.

Swaraj, who spoke as per an understanding with the government, said her party supports the creation of Telangana but attacked the way it was being done.

"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," Swaraj said amid vociferous protest by members from CPM, Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress in the Well.

Charging Congress with mishandling the issue of Telangana, she recalled that the BJP-led NDA had created three states during its tenure at the Centre without any disruption in Parliament or in any region.

Accusing Congress of delaying the process of Telangana formation, the Leader of the Opposition said though the ruling party had promised Telangana way back in May 2004, it brought it at the fag end of the 15th Lok Sabha.

"You have been in power in the last ten years, but you did nothing. You just sat over it", she told Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

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Expert committee to give suggestions for a new capital of residuary AP

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In the bill, which will now go to Rajya Sabha for approval, the government has promised to set up an expert committee within 45 days of formation of Telangana to give suggestions for a new capital of residuary Andhra Pradesh.

It envisages that Hyderabad will be common capital of Telangana and Seemandhra for ten years which includes the existing area notified as Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.

The Centre also tried to address the grievances of Seemandhra region by promising to take appropriate fiscal measures, including offer of tax incentives to the successor states, to promote industrialisation and economic growth in both states.

The Central government will provide special financial support for creation of essential facilities in the new capital of the successor state of Andhra Pradesh, including the Raj Bhavan, High Court, government secretariat, Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council and such other essential infrastructure.

The Centre will set up an apex council for supervision of the Krishna and Godavari rivers management boards, amidst concerns that will face water problems if the state is divided.

The Union government will also facilitate creation of a new capital for the successor state of Andhra Pradesh, if considered necessary, by denotifying degraded forest land.

The Andhra Pradesh Governor will be the Governor for both the successor states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and for the purpose of administration of the capital area, the Governor shall have special responsibility for the security of life and property of all those live in it.

 




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