The 16th Lok Sabha witnessed its first disruption by members of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Biju Janata Dal (BJD)– albeit a short one – on its fourth day on Monday when Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Santosh Gangwar tabled The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisaton (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014, promulgated on May 29.
The Ordinance relates to the transfer seven mandals of Bhadrachalam revenue division encompassing 205 villages and tribal hamlets to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh for execution of the Polavaram project.
The States of Telangana, Odisha and Chattisgarh are opposed to the transfer not only on the plea that it would displace tribals but also on the plea that it would adversely impact their power projects.
In their meetings last week with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Telangana Chief Minister K.C. Rao and his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik had flagged their objections to the transfer. Mr. Rao had informed Mr. Modi that his party would oppose tabling of the Ordinance in Parliament.
While the BJD member B. Mahtab sought to raise a point of order, the TRS members briefly trooped into the well shouting slogans. Some of them held placards; drawing the disapproval of the Speaker Sumitra Majahan in defiance of the rules.
She tried to pacify them with the assurance that they would be allowed to have their say when the Bill replacing the Ordinance is comes up for discussion. However, the TRS members persisted with their protest. Since not much business was scheduled for the day, proceedings were adjourned after the papers listed for the day were tabled followed by announcement of the ten members nominated by her to the panel of chairpersons.
On Sunday Telanangana Chief Minister had that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured him that the centre would not act in haste on the transfer of villages.
The Polavaram Ordinance was one of the first actions of the Narendra Modi government as it wanted the issue to be addressed before the state of Telangana came into existence on the intervening night of June 1 and 2. The government had to take the ordinance route as the proposed transfer is not part of the AP Reorganisation Bill as approved by Parliament.
Mr. Rao had said he wanted the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of the four Chief Ministers in a bid to hammer out consensus.
His contention was that there were several other alternative designs which would reduce dislocation of tribal communities to a large extent and the well-known tourist spot of Papi Kondalu become a thing of the past.