Sunday, Mar 29, 2015

Telangana bill passed in LS, India’s 29th state comes into being

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 was adopted by voice vote along with several official amendments. (PTI Photo) The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 was adopted by voice vote along with several official amendments. (PTI Photo)
By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: February 19, 2014 8:31 am

The contentious bill that will split Andhra Pradesh and allow the creation of Telangana, India’s 29th state, made it through the Lok Sabha Tuesday despite opposition, tumultuous scenes and a controversial “blackout” of the live TV broadcast of the proceedings.

The house passed the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Bill, 2014, by voice vote even as those opposed to it demanded a division vote and termed the process a “sham” and a “black day for democracy”.

Around 3.10 pm, Lok Sabha TV stopped showing the live feed of proceedings in the house as Speaker Meira Kumar went ahead with the process of passing the Bill and then moving amendments pushed by members from across parties.

The government also moved a series of official amendments after leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj indicated that her party backed passing the Bill. Only Swaraj and pro-Telangana Union minister Jaipal Reddy of the Congress spoke briefly on the Bill.

Armed with posters, MPs from the CPI(M) and a few others from Andhra Pradesh stormed the well and shouted slogans against the bifurcation of the state through the proceedings, rendering the Speaker’s words inaudible.

One of them tore a copy of the Bill and flung its pieces in the air.

A number of amendments moved by MPs, notably Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress and Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMM, were defeated by voice vote even as both demanded a division vote, which the speaker did not allow.

Instead, the speaker resorted to a “headcount” of MPs for and against the Bill and the amendments by asking them to stand up — a move Roy and Owaisi protested against.

“We are not a herd of sheep, we protest this move by you, madam. We want division vote,” Roy was heard shouting. “The idea that is India is being challenged today.”

Seeing that the opposition BJP did not join the protest, a number of protesting MPs too stormed the well and alleged that both the government and the opposition had reached an understanding “to pass the bill by flouting established processes”.

Independent MP from Assam, S K Bwiswmuthiary chanted anti-bifurcation slogans through the 90-minute process.
But the fact that there was no live broadcast of the proceedings visibly irked a number of MPs who shouted that it was “a black day for democracy”.

The TMC’s Roy also lodged a protest in writing saying that Rule 367 had been flouted by not going for a division vote.
The ruckus continued nonetheless as Shiv Sena MPs along with SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav stood up to join the protests.


With both Rahul and Sonia Gandhi in the House, Congress MPs continued…

First Published on: February 18, 20147:00 pm
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