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Telangana Bill moved in Rajya Sabha amid unprecedented chaos

Last updated on: February 20, 2014 18:46 IST

Shinde tables Telangana Bill in Rajya Sabha amid ruckus

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Amid unprecedented bedlam, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde moved the Telangana bill in Rajya Sabha for consideration leading to three adjournments within 30 minutes.

The Well of the Upper House virtually turned into a battle field as Shinde moved the bill with anti-Telangana protestors displaying huge placards opposing the bill and creating uproar.

Even though Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley, who had raised the issue of constitutional invalidity of the bill was asked by Deputy Chairman P J Kurien to put forth his point of view, the surcharged atmosphere forced the Chair to go for a short break.

Jaitley was not allowed to have his say despite being called by the Chair whose repeated pleas to maintain order in the House went unheeded.

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The House had witnessed high drama on Wednesday with Secretary General Shumsher K Sheriff being heckled by a Telugu Desam Party member who tried to snatch from him papers related to Telangana bill.

When the Chair took up the Whistleblowers Bill for consideration, Prakash Javadekar (BJP) went near the podium to demand that the Telengana Bill be brought first, even as V Maitrayan (AIADMK) got into a scuffle with the marshals demanding a discussion on the Tamil fishermen issue.

The Telangana bill was moved for consideration even as a deadlock persisted over it with the government accusing BJP of bringing amendments at the eleventh hour.

"We have listed the Telangana bill in Rajya Sabha and we would be attempting to get it passed. The question of amendments at this stage does not arise," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath had told reporters earlier.

As soon as Kurien, announced taking up Telangana bill after the House met at 2 pm, Seemandhra MPs from Congress and TDP rushed to the Well. They were supported by Derek O'Brien (TMC) and some others, who waved placards saying that bill passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday was "not Constitutional, not legal, not right".

One of the members was seen waving a black flag near the podium.

There was a heated exchange between the agitating members and Kurien as the Seemaandhra members as well as O'Brien did not allow Jaitely to speak even after the Chair permitted him to do so.

Kurien appeared incensed particularly with TDP MP Y S Chowdhary, who kept shouting near the Chair seeking to move an amendment and demanding the opinion of the Attorney General over the Constitutional validity of the bill.

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The House was adjourned five times between 2 pm to 4.30 pm without any sign of normalcy despite the Chair calling a meeting of leaders of all parties inside the Chamber.

"Chairman had called leaders of all parties and there was a general consensus that we should discuss the bill. You can move the amendment but there is a rule and procedure for it.”

"First let there be a general discussion and then only amendments can be moved," Kurien said but Chowdhary and other agitating members remained unimpressed.

"It is illegal. Go back to your seat. I will suspend you. I will take action against you. You are killing democracy," Kurien told Chowdhary as BJP members insisted that there should be order in the House for the discussion to take place.

Kurien earlier said that a number of members including Jaitley, O'Brien, Chowdhary and Naresh Agrawal (SP) have given notices opposing the bill on the ground of Constitutional validity.

"I will be giving a chance to the LoP to oppose the Bill on its Constitutional validity," he said but later termed the use of word 'oppose' as a "slip of tongue".

"I have called the LoP to raise a Constitutional point and not to oppose...I have to correct a slip of tongue," Kurien said.

M Venkaiah Naidu (BJP) rued that even ruling party members are disrupting the House and asked the government to create an atmosphere for discussion in the House.

He said BJP has been saying all along that it was "in favour of Telangana" but insisted that there should be no injustice to Seemandhdra region.

Kurien, while criticising the agitating members for their unruly behaviour, said senior members of the House should tell the agitating MPs to go back to their seat.

JD-U MPs were seen protesting against delay in granting special state category to Bihar.

Earlier, amid differences over amendments on the crucial Telangana Bill, BJP stepped up pressure for bringing the bill in the Rajya Sabha which remained paralysed following pandemonium over various issues.

Amid din created by members over Telangana, special status for Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal besides the Tamil fishermen and reservation for backward classes issues, Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) demanded that the Telangana bill be taken up for discussion.

"Where is the Telangana Bill? Where is it? Where is the government?," he said, amid chants of "Telangana bill lao (bring Telangana bill)" by BJP members.

While Kurien sought the views of the House for consideration and passage of the Whistleblower's Bill, BJP insisted that though they were ready for discussion on the bill they wanted the government to first bring the Telangana bill.

As uproar in the House continued with members of various parties on their feet and inside the Well, shouting slogans and demanding their issues be taken up first, V Maitreyan (AIADMK) jostled with marshals to reach up to the Chair.

Maitreyan was demanding a discussion on Tamil fishermen issue and sought the presence of Prime Minister and External Affairs Minister to answer their queries.

As Kurien refused to take up the issue saying he did not speak on the Calling Attention Motion when he was asked to do so, Maitreyan protested and snatched a book kept next to the podium but the marshals took back the book from him.




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