My heart bleeds over these scenes: PM on Telangana protests in Parliament
New Delhi – The proposal to divide Andhra Pradesh and carve out a state of Telangana led to ugly and embarrassing scenes in Parliament today.
“My heart bleeds to see what is happening in the House. This is bad for democracy,” said the Prime Minister, shortly after two MPs nearly attacked each other before other law-makers intervened.
Union Minister Pallam Raju called the Prime Minister’s comments unfair. Another minister KS Rao said, “My heart bleeds too. You can’t divide the state because of a few seats or political advantage.” Both ministers belong to the non-Telangana regions of Seemandhra which are vehemently opposed to the politically-charged plan to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
The Congress has confronted a huge internal and external backlash to its decision to create a Telangana state, a move designed as vote-bait for the coming national election.
Since this session began about a week ago, Parliament has been paralyzed with angry disruptions from lawmakers opposed to a state of Telangana. Papers have been torn and flung inside the Rajya Sabha and the chairman’s mic pulled out. This session, which ends on February 21, is the last before the national election, due by May, so this is the last chance for the Centre to have statehood cleared for Telangana.
To signal that it will not tolerate dissent and that it is determined to push through its Telangana plan, the Congress yesterday expelled six Lok Sabha members who had moved a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister over the proposal.
Seemandhra is worried about a downsizing of its share of water, power and revenue from Telangana, which includes the booming economy of the IT hub Hyderabad.