The extended Winter session of Parliament on Wednesday got off to a stormy start with uproar over the Telangana and caste-reservation issue stalling proceedings.
Lok Sabha could not transact any business, while the Rajya Sabha saw a brief debate on the “legislative competence” of Parliament to enact the Communal Violence law, which could not be introduced because of Opposition.
The issue of caste-reservation also lead to pandemonium in the Upper House as members of SP, BSP and JD (U) wanted the government to clarify its stand in the wake of suggestion by senior Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi that such quota should be abolished.
The government made it clear that there was no such proposal and existing reservation policy will continue.
Defence Minister A K Antony also made a statement on the scam-tainted AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal that all legal actions were being pursued in the case.
Both the Houses saw noisy scenes as soon as they met for the day with members from Andhra Pradesh — from Telangana as well as Seemandhra regions — cutting across party lines storming the Well. Those protesting included members from ruling Congress.
While Seemandhra members carried placards saying ‘Jai Samaikya Andhra Pradesh’ (hail united Andhra Pradesh), Telangana members shouted slogans demanding early creation of the separate state.
The government has announced that it will take up the Bill to carve out a separate Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh in the session that will conclude on February 21.
Andhra Pradesh has remained sharply divided on regional lines on the Telangana issue and the Bill is coming to Parliament after being rejected by the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
Government is expected to introduce the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill in Parliament next week.