Telangana: Protests disrupt Lok Sabha; lead to suspension of MLAs in Assembly

The demand for a separate state of Telangana today led to repeated disruptions of Lok Sabha and suspension of 12 MLAs in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly where members from the Telangana districts tried to stall the proceedings for the fourth day even as the region observed shutdown for the second day today.

Even as members of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and Congress caused adjournment of Lok Sabha for three times till afternoon, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj made a strong pitch for carving out the new state from Andhra Pradesh.

She urged the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to bring a legislation for the purpose in the current budget session of the House.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was present when she made the demand and through the noisy scenes which forced presiding officers, including Speaker Meira Kumar, to order adjournment of the People's House for three times.

In Hyderabad, 12 Telangana legislators were suspended from the Andhra Pradesh Assembly for the day when they tried to stall the proceedings, demanding the house pass a resolution for the formation of a separate Telangana state.

The MLAs belonging to Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS)(7), Communist Party of India (CPI)(4) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)(1) tried to snatch the copy of the budget speech being read by Finance Minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy.

Deputy Speaker Nadendla Manohar announced their suspension after Legislative Affairs Minister Sridhar Babu moved a resolution.

Earlier, on February 18, the Deputy Speaker had suspended three legislators of TRS and two of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) for one week for their unruly behaviour during Governor E S L Narasimhan's address to the joint session of both houses a day earlier.

The proceedings in Lok Sabha were paralysed till afternoon as members from TRS, TDP and Congress vied with each other to raise the demand for a separate Telangana state.

The House witnessed three adjournments till 1400 hrs as TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao and his party colleague M Vijaya Shanthi repeatedly stormed the well to press their adjournment motion on the issue.

While several Congress members raised slogans like "Jai Telangana", TDP member from Adilabad, Ramesh Rathod, joined the TRS members in the well.

Ms Swaraj sought a statement from the Prime Minister that a Bill supporting the demand would be brought in the present session.

As the Chair M Thambidurai asked TRS members to take their seats as they would be given time to speak during Zero Hour, Ms Swaraj said it was rare that eleven members from the ruling Congress wanted a discussion and they were being silenced.

Also, Ms Vijaya Shanthi and Ms Chandrashekhar Rao, who have never come to the well of the House due to their disciplined stance, were today compelled to come, hence "the reason for their pain and anguish should be heard by the House", she said.

"The Telangana issue can be resolved immediately if the Prime Minister simply announces in the House that a Bill supporting the creation of Telangana would be brought in this session itself," she said.

She said the entire Telangana region was facing shutdown with four lakh people resorting to "pen down strike", students boycotting colleges and courts facing boycott by lawyers.

"While the entire region faces shut down, people were being fired at by rubber bullets...," she said.

Even as Congress members rose to oppose the BJP leader's support for TRS members, the Chair adjourned the House till 1200 noon amidst din and sloganeering by others.

Earlier in the day, the Lok Sabha was adjourned till 1130 hrs by Speaker Meira Kumar, minutes after the House convened at 1100 hrs, after TRS members along with eleven vociferous Congress members from Telangana region, rushed to the well of the House demanding a separate Telangana state.

Repeated requests by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to Congress members for order in the House failed to make any impression, even as the Prime Minister sat in silence.

Outside Lok Sabha, the TRS chief said his party would disrupt proceedings of Lok Sabha till the time the Centre comes out with a time-frame for formation of separate Telangana state.

In Hyderabad, the 12 MLAs suspended for the day were TRS floor leader Eetala and his party members Rajender, Aravinda Reddy, K Eshwar, Odulu, Taraka Rama Rao, Ravinder, Vinay Bhaskar; Mallesh, Sambasiva Rao, V Sudhakar Rao and B Chandravathi (CPI), A Laxminarayana (BJP).

As they refused to leave the House after their suspension, they were evicted by marshals even as the Finance Minister continued with his budget speech.

Protesting against the suspension, BJP floor leader G Kishan Reddy walked out of the House, while MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owasi and leaders of CPI and CPI(M) strongly objected to the presence of marshals in the House.

The second day of the 48-hour Telangana "bandh" witnessed violence in Warangal district, while normal life was disrupted across the Telangana region in the state, including Hyderabad city.

Pro-Telangana agitators set two bogies of the Manuguru passenger train on fire at Intekanna railway station. However, no passenger suffered any injury.

In another incident, two state road transport corporation buses were damaged by the agitators by pelting stones at Rajendranagar in Hyderabad city. The Telangana express train was detained at Dornakal in Warangal district.

All business establishments and educational institutions remained closed and government and private buses largely remained off roads across Hyderabad and in other Telangana areas.

Barring Warangal, the situation was largely peaceful in all Telangana districts.

Activists of TRS, BJP, Telangana TDP forum and several pro-Telangana organisations took out rallies, blocked roads in towns across Telangana districts, including Adilabad, Warangal, Medak, Ranga Reddy and Karimnagar.

Essential services like hospitals, milk supply and pharmacies were, however, exempt from the bandh.


© Copyright 2012 NetIndian. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of NetIndian content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of NetIndian Media Corporation. Write to info[AT]netindian[DOT]in for permission to use content. Read detailed Terms of Use.