Telangana Bill passed by Lok Sabha

A historic bill to carve out Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh was on Tuesday passed by Lok Sabha amid din and strong protests by members from Seemandhra region, including ministers.

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 was adopted by voice vote along with several official amendments, with main opposition BJP coming on board.

Moving the bill for consideration and passage, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the Centre will give special financial package to Seemandhra, residual part of Andhra Pradesh, to address the grievances of the people of that region. A number of amendments moved by AIMIM member Asaduddin Owaisi and Trinamool Congress member Sougata Roy were negated.

No live telecast

Significantly, there was no live telecast by Lok Sabha TV for 90 minutes during clause by clause consideration of the bill before its passage. Many members protested the way the bill was passed, saying it was against the democratic norms and a “black day” in the country’s democracy. The bill was passed after a very brief discussion in which only Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and minister Jaipal Reddy, a pro-Telangana leader from Andhra Pradesh, spoke.

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

Swaraj said “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 CPI(M), Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress in the Well.

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