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Telangana issue stalls parliament as MPs unite

Posted by on March 3, 2011 0 Comment

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) Their political divisions notwithstanding, some ruling Congress MPs from Telangana region Thursday joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Telangana Rashtriya Samithi (TRS) members to disrupt parliament demanding a Telangana state carved out of Andhra Pradesh.

The joint vocal protests on the contentious issue forced repeated disruptions of the Lok Sabha, prompting the chair to call it a day – after five adjournments since the members met at 11 a.m.

The Rajya Sabha adjourned for about an hour in the morning and functioned normally for the day even as opposition members raised the issue of Central Vigilance Commissioner P.J. Thomas, whose appointment was struck down by the Supreme Court.

In the Lok Sabha, the day began with noisy scenes. Pandemonium returned every time the house resumed following disruptions.

As soon as the house began its proceedings, TRS members K. Chandrashekar Rao and M. Vijayashanti walked towards the speaker’s podium shouting slogans in favour of Telangana state. BJP members joined them.

Congress members from Telangana region rose from their seats to join the protest and shouted slogans.

MPs from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) countered the pro-Telangana protests by flashing placards for a ‘United Andhra Pradesh’.

Seemingly angry with TDP’s placards, one Congress member rushed towards the TDP group, snatched the placard and rejoined his slogan shouting colleagues.

Meira Kumar pleaded with them to let the house proceed but the MPs did not relent. The house was adjourned till 2 p.m. and later till 3 p.m.

But more ruckus forced Francisco Sardinha, chairing the session, to adjourn the house till Friday.

Earlier, the Lok Sabha was adjourned twice during the question hour over the same issue.

The Rajya Sabha was also adjourned twice during question hour after uproar by opposition members over Telangana.

When MPs in the upper house met, BJP members were on their feet demanding a statement from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Chairman Hamid Ansari asked members to raise the issue during zero hour but they did not relent.

He repeatedly urged the protesting members to return to their seats. They did not, and he adjourned the house for 15 minutes.

Noisy scenes returned when the house met again. Ansari suspended question hour and adjourned the house till noon.

But peace prevailed in the Rajya Sabha where opposition MPs spoke on the Supreme Court judgment cancelling the appointment of Thomas. They wanted Manmohan Singh to make a statement, and he promised to.

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