BJP questions tabling of Bill, Cong unsure

The BJP also made it clear that it was against the passage of the Bill amid a din.

New Delhi | Published: February 14, 2014 1:26:11 am

The BJP on Thursday questioned the introduction of the Telangana Bill in the Lok Sabha, and held the Congress responsible for the unruly scenes in the Lok Sabha, accusing the party of having orchestrated the “drama”.

“The Congress is solely responsible. It is a drama enacted by the Congress. It now seems that all that has happened is part of the design because Congress wanted to create pandemonium and commotion so that all members would leave the Lok Sabha and then they could do a make-believe introduction of the Telangana Bill,” said Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

Saying they had told the Prime Minister on Wednesday that they were in favour of the Bill, she criticised the manner in which it was introduced. The BJP also made it clear that it was against the passage of the Bill amid a din.

“In such chaotic conditions, the government should do nothing except for bringing a Vote-on-Account,” said party leader L K Advani, suggesting that the BJP would cooperate with the government only on the passage of the interim budget.

“The Bill was not introduced… how is the government claiming so? If the government is claiming the Bill was introduced, we do not believe it,” said Swaraj, after meeting Speaker Meira Kumar along with leaders of other parties on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Congress appeared unsure about the fate of the Bill. Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the Congress stood by its decision as it had “bitten a bullet”. Asked whether the Bill would be passed this session, he said that was a “million dollar question.”

Jagan calls for bandh, to explore legal options

NEW DELHI: YSR Congress chief Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy said the Speaker’s decision to allow introduction of the Bill “without taking into consideration the opinion of the House” was a “mockery of democracy”. He also gave a call for a day-long bandh in Andhra Pradesh Friday.

Reddy claimed the Chair announced that the Bill was tabled “within 10 seconds of her arrival”. “This shows the Centre has no respect for democratic values and wants to push through its agenda by hook or crook,” he said. He said the Speaker did not take into consideration the opinion of the House. “It is a black day for parliamentary democracy,” he said.

“The Congress is going ahead with its divisive politics and is carrying out the division in an authoritarian and unilateral manner. Today, in broad daylight, democracy has been slaughtered,” he said. Reddy said his party would also explore legal options. — ENS

‘Interesting,’ says Bangladesh speaker

NEW DELHI: She was supposed to witness the seat of the world’s largest democracy live in action. But sitting inside the Lok Sabha Thursday as the distinguished guest of the House, Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament, witnessed action of a different kind when an MP unleashed pepper spray on unsuspecting members, barely 20 feet away from her.

“It was interesting what I saw. We were seated and the Speaker announced our presence to the House in the beginning. There were disturbances soon after and the House was adjourned,” she said.

Her experience was cut short as Parliament’s protocol officers hurriedly ushered her out. Asked to comment on what a Speaker can do in such situations, Chaudhury said differences were part of a democracy. “Not just adjournments, but the Speaker has a lot of tools to control such situations,” she said. — Avishek G Dastidar

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