Seemandhra ministers would continue to block Telangana bill: Rao

After 16 MPs were suspended from Lok Sabha for creating ruckus, KS Rao said ministers from Seemandhra region would continue to "block" the Telangana bill if government did not accept their demands.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 14, 2014, 19:10 PM IST

New Delhi: A day after his 16 colleagues were suspended from Lok Sabha for creating ruckus, Union minister K S Rao on Friday said ministers from Seemandhra region would continue to "block" the Telangana bill if the government did not accept their demands.
He also said their demand for Union Territory Status for Hyderabad was "non-negotiable".

"We will continue to protest. We will continue to raise the same issues... I will be in Parliament to block the bill," Rao, a senior Congress leader, told reporters here.

The Textiles Minister said all his ministerial colleagues from the Seemandhra region will join him to block the bill in the Lower House.

Rao presented four demands for arriving at a peaceful solution to the "burning" problem.

He said that Hyderabad should be made a Union Territory at least for 10 years till the people of Seemandhra built their own capital. The bill should have a provision to add Anantapur and Karnool districts be part of Telangana, Rao said.

He asked the government to give Bhadrachalam division, which has been made part of Khammam district in Telangana, to Seemandhra.

Amendments should be brought in the bill for the transfer of villages in Bhadrachalam division to Andhra state so that it would benefit of Seemandhra region, Rao said.

The minister said the government incorporate in the bill that from the consolidate fund of India, it would provide enough money to Seemandhra state for constructing a new capital and other infrastructure.

Listing out all these demands, Rao said, if the government agrees to it before Monday, all the MPs from Seemandhra will support the bill.

He urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take initiative to address the problem before assembling of Parliament on Monday.

Rao said that the Congress was doing "wrong" on the issue of Telangana and the government could not do the floor management properly to prevent the incidents that had occurred in Parliament yesterday.

He said he would never support such incidents and added that all parties should be blamed for that.
When asked about the pepper spraying incident, Rao said, "I have been there in Parliament for last five terms. I never went into the Well. I will never support the incidents that had happened yesterday."

He said that it was not one party that had created ruckus in the House.

"Congress party employed its party MPs as marshals to protect somebody. The methods adopted by the leadership was wrong. Spraying of something... It is also wrong... He says spraying of pepper powder was to protect himself," Rao said.

Noting that the complicity of the problem of dividing Andhra Pradesh was "huge", Rao said yesterday`s incidents show "how sharply" the both sides are divided.

He alleged that the Union government was supporting only Telangana and the Group of Ministers did not pay any attention to demands of Seemandhra people.

"Advantage of speaking Hindi by Telangana leaders have got them more sympathy. They said things like that their future will be bleak in the united Andhra Pradesh," he added.