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Cong MPs add to Telangana chorus; LS disrupted
New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS):
Published on 24 Feb. 2011 12:37 AM IST
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Noisy scenes led to repeated disruptions of the Lok Sabha Wednesday as some members, including from the ruling Congress, shouted slogans demanding that the government table a bill for creating separate Telangana state.
While the Lok Sabha witnessed chaos, peace prevailed in the Rajya Sabha as the upper house functioned normally according to schedule.
In the lower house, the chaos started after Congress members from the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh shouted for separate statehood. They were soon joined by members of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
A day after peaceful proceedings, the house witnessed three adjournments till 2 p.m.
TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao, his colleague M. Vijaya Shanthi and the TDP’s Ramesh Rathod repeatedly walked towards the presiding officer’s podium to shout slogans and press for an adjournment motion.
Congress members Poonam Prabhakar, M. Jagannath, G. Vivekanand, Madhu Goud Yaskhi and Sarvey Satyanarayana were heard shouting “Jai Telangana” from their seats.
As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is not an elected member of the Lok Sabha, was attending the sitting, Speaker Meira Kumar tried to convince the protesting members that the issue could be raised during zero hour.
When MPs persisted with their noisy protests, the speaker adjourned the house barely 10 minutes after the day’s sitting began at 11 a.m. for the crucial question hour.
Members returned to the house at 11.30 a.m., and so did noise.
Leader of Opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party’s Sushma Swaraj intervened and demanded that the government bring a bill during the budget session to solve the protracted issue that has incited violence in Telangana.
She said the issue was too important to be ignored as life in the region has been paralysed for the second day over the demand for a bill for the formation of Telangana state.
“Why are the ruling MPs shouting slogans? This is because everything in Telangana is stuck, employees are on a pen-down strike... Nothing is working there and if anything functions, that is rubber bullets,” she said.
The BJP leader said the matter could be “resolved right away if the prime minister promises that the Telangana bill will be brought to parliament in the ongoing budget session”.
“We will get the bill passed with our members supporting it,” she thundered, as protests grew louder forcing another disruption till noon.
The chaos returned when the house re-assembled at 12, and the speaker adjourned the house again till 2 p.m. after Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V. Narayanasamy failed in his attempts to calm tempers.
However, there were no protests after 2 p.m. as the house continued with its debate on the motion of thanks on President Pratibha Patil’s address to the joint session Monday. The TRS chief later told reporters outside parliament that his party would “continue to disrupt the house” till the government promises a timeframe to form Telangana state.
“The prime minister was present in the house, but he remained a silent spectator to our agitation. It is very unfortunate,” he said.
Oppn blasts
govt policies
Functioning of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on Tuesday came under intense attack with the Opposition charging governance at its worst and public cynicism at a high, leading to trust deficit between the rulers and the ruled.
“There are serious doubts about propriety and integrity of the government…it is almost governance at its worst…ineffectiveness at decision making… failure to provide honest governance…today there is trust deficit between those who govern and rest of the country,” the Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said, taking part in discussion on motion of thanks to the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha.
Leading the charge on the manner in which the Manmohan Singh government was functioning on all fronts, the BJP leader said it appeared that trust deficit was a reflection of relationship between the leader of the party that heads the coalition and its government.
During his 67-minute speech, Mr. Jaitley touched upon range of issues such as corruption, with specific reference to 2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games, management of economy, inability to control prices of essential commodities, tendency on part of Ministers to attack institutions such as the Comptroller and Auditor General, and lack of direction in handling situation either in Jammu and Kashmir or Telangana.
He sought to know why the government preferred to be silent on 2G for last few years and criticised Prime Minister Manmohan seeking to distance himself from appointment of a Minister, policy making and its implementation.
For some reasons, the Telecom sector had been outsourced to one political party, he said adding that within the political party, “it was outsourced to a faction of the State’s ruling family,” a comment was contested both by Jayanti Natarajan (Congress) and Tiruchi Siva (DMK).

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