Parliament clears 29th state

Amid protests, Upper House passes Bill by voice vote; Seemandhra gets special status.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: February 21, 2014 1:10 am

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A seperate state of Telangana is finally a reality. With the BJP not insisting on a division on its amendments, the Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 to create India’s 29th state by a voice vote, amid protests by regional parties led by the Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena, forcing multiple adjournments, walkouts and an unprecedented expression of dissent by a union minister.

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The Rajya Sabha took up the Bill after the BJP agreed to the government’s suggestion that its demands for a financial commitment to Seemandhra would be reflected in a statement that the Prime Minister would make in the Upper House. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a six-point package for the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh, including special category status for five years and tax incentives to promote industrialisation and boost economic growth in both the states.

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath and Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh met top BJP leaders in the morning, where they arrived at the agreement, paving the way for passage of the Bill and fulfillment of a 60-year-old demand by the people of Telangana. Top sources said the text of the Prime Minister’s statement was shared with top BJP leaders including L K Advani, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu.

Singh’s speech, however, was drowned in the slogan-shouting by TMC members who tore the official papers. The Congress came under attack from all parties, including the BJP, with Jaitley and Naidu saying the party was indulging in “vote bank” and “opportunistic” politics by dividing the state on the eve of elections.

Union Minister Chiranjeevi spoke against the bifurcation, saying it was being done in an unfair manner and he felt heartbroken.

The Left alleged “match fixing” between the BJP and Congress, and walked out before the passage of the Bill. The DMK, JD(U) and BJD members also left the House separately during the course of the debate, after their leaders opposed the division.

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The passage of the Bill was not devoid of drama. SP member Kiranmoy Nanda tried to snatch the Bill from Shinde, but Congress members foiled the attempt by gathering around the minister. TMC members led by Derek O’ Brien and Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, along with JD(U) members, TDP’s Y S Chowdhary and C M Ramesh and Congress’s K V P Ramachandra Rao, protested in the Well of the House for nearly three hours when the Bill was discussed.

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  1. S
    sam
    Feb 21, 2014 at 5:32 am
    Telangana has been suppressed Nizams rule and then seemandrites. Thanks to our mothers sonia, Sushma and Mayavathi who made dream of telngana people a reality.
    Reply
    1. S
      sam
      Feb 21, 2014 at 5:32 am
      Telangana has been suppressed by Nizams rule and then seemandrites. Thanks to our mothers sonia, Sushma and Mayavathi who made dream of telngana people a reality.
      Reply
      1. P
        Prasad
        Feb 21, 2014 at 1:00 am
        Both BJP and Congress party are reponsible for this unfair, and one sided division of AP. Both these parties will pay a price in the coming election. My only hope is that the MPs from Seemandhra should not support either BJP or Congress, but should supportthe third front. BJP should be taught a lesson together with Congress party.
        Reply
        1. A
          Aaniya Bhatt
          Feb 21, 2014 at 11:51 am
          Really it is appreciable as congress have fought for it as well , congress have been favor of ping the bill and congress made it possible this shows congress is the party of his words .
          Reply
          1. I
            Iti Mehra
            Feb 21, 2014 at 11:52 am
            Introduction of Telangana Bill should be seen as a good step. It is very clear that Modi wants to gain vote from Telangana as well, so he is trying to show that how much he cares for them.
            Reply
            1. I
              Iti Mehra
              Feb 21, 2014 at 11:30 am
              Today the Sun sets in the State of Andhra Pradesh and tomorrow the first rays of the Sun will awaken the State of Telangana. The special status to seemandhara, given by PM, is an intelligent move. It will give some time for the policy-makers to map out the future of the region
              Reply
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                Shrey
                Feb 21, 2014 at 11:31 am
                the strategy that have been planned by BJP and many opposition parties has failed and this had been cleared again that if your intentions and vision is clear god will also help you and here hard work of T-people and congress commitment has shown it all .
                Reply
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