Telangana Bill: As it happened on Wednesday...
Zee Media Bureau/Kamna Arora & Deepak Nagpal
9:00 pm: RAF companies moved to Andhra Pradesh
Two companies of Rapid Action Force, a specialised wing of CRPF, have been rushed from their base in Coimbatore to Andhra Pradesh to help the administration in handling the law and order situation in the backdrop of protests over creation of Telangana.
One company will be stationed in Tirupati while the other in Kadapa to handle the situation arising out of Telangana agitation, CRPF sources said.
7:00 pm: Chandrababu Naidu hits out at Sonia
TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday hit out at Congress president Sonia Gandhi, saying she was responsible for the chaos in Parliament over Telangana.
“Congress is conspiring for a few seats. The Centre has to do equal justice to both the regions as bifurcation is a sensitive issue,” Naidu said. He added that Andhra leaders were not consulted on the Telangana Bill.
The TDP chief also accused the BJP of failing to protect the interests of Andhra people.
6:05 pm: Congress-TRS alliance/merger on cards?
A day after the Lok Sabha passed the Telangana Bill, the Congress on Wednesday hinted at a possible alliance or merger with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) party.
“All reasonable options are open” is what a Congress leader is reported to have said about possibilities of alliance with or merger of TRS.
5:55 pm: Sonia roots for special status for Seemandhara
In a bid to end the stalemate over Telangana, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, as per sources, is believed to have asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to grant special status to Seemandhara for five years.
5:20 pm: Will table Telangana Bill in RS tomorrow, says govt
Union Minister Rajeev Shukla has said that the government will place the Telangana Bill in Rajya Sabha tomorrow, after failing to do so today amid din.
5:00 pm: Telangana Bill not in RS today
The UPA government has decided not to table the controversial Telangana Bill in Rajya Sabha today, say reports. The upper house has, meanwhile, been adjourned till 11 am tomorrow.
4:30 pm: RS adjourned till 5 pm
The Rajya Sabha has again been adjourned, till 5 pm, amid din over the Telangana Bill.
4:08 pm: RS passes Street Vendors Bill
Meanwhile, proceedings resumed in the Rajya Sabha and the upper house has cleared the Street Vendors Bill.
4:05 pm: PM meets BJP leaders
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in a bid to reach out to the Opposition ahead of tabling of the Telangana Bill in Rajya Sabha, met with BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu.
The government reached out to the BJP as it was worried about the proposed constitutional amendment to be moved by the opposition party. However, reports say the talks ended in stalemate.
4:00 pm: `Signal failure led to LS TV blackout`
A probe has found that failure to receive signals from the nine automatic cameras in Lok Sabha resulted in the blackout of Lok Sabha TV during the crucial proceedings for passage of the Telangana Bill on Tuesday.
The probe was ordered into the 90-minute blackout on Lok Sabha TV yesterday when the controversial Bill was taken up.
3:46 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned again
The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 4 PM after uproar over
Telangana and other issues.
3:36 pm: Congress, BJP followed wrong tradition, says Nitish
Criticising the manner in which the Telangana Bill was passed in Lok Sabha, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar accused the Congress and BJP of adopting "a wrong and unhealthy tradition".
"Both Congress and BJP have together laid the foundation of a wrong and unhealthy tradition ... There is a provision in Article 3 in the Constitution for the Central government to create a new state. A healthy tradition should have been adopted for the formation of Telangana," Kumar told reporters.
2:55 pm: Telangana bill passed as per rules, says govt
The government rejected criticism that "undemocratic methods" were adopted in the Lok Sabha to pass the Telangana bill, saying it was passed "as per rules".
"The (February 13) violence in Lok Sabha certainly has been a very new low. It is very unfortunate. But yesterday as per rules, the Telangana bill was passed. It was passed absolutely according to Rules. There is no complaint today," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said.
2:45 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 3 PM
Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till 3 PM after uproar over Telangana.
2:15 pm: Digvijay Singh on Lok Sabha chaos
Reacting to the passage of the Telangana Bill in Lok Sabha amid din and chaos, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh has said if the MPs had shown "parliamentary skills" the democracy would have emerged stronger.
"T-Bill passed by Voice Vote in a din. Only if MPs had shown Parliamentary Skills and not Muscle Power Democracy would have emerged stronger," Digvijay said in a tweet today.
2:08 pm: CPI-M alleges Congress, BJP collusion
The CPI-M alleged collusion between the Congress and the BJP over the way the Lok Sabha decided by voice vote to form a Telangana state.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist said the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill was adopted on Tuesday "in an undemocratic way violating all norms and procedures".
It said "no debate took place on the bill and it was adopted in the din by a `voice vote`. The demand for a discussion made by some opposition parties was denied."
"All this was done in collusion between the Congress and the BJP," the party said.
2:03 pm: TDP MP Ramesh apologises
Rajya Sabha reconvenes. TDP MP Ramesh has apologised for manhandling Rajya Sabha Secretary General. Anti-Telangana MPs are protesting.
1:57 pm: Meira Kumar accepts resignation of L Rajagopal
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar accepts resignation of
Seemandhra MP L Rajagopal, who splashed pepper spray last week, reports PTI.
1:31 pm: Reddy expresses anguish over AP division
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who today quit his post and the Congress party, has expressed disappointment over the manner in which the state was being divided.
In his resignation letter to Governor ESL Narasimhan, Reddy has said, "The decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh, the first linguistic state in the country, unsupported by any policy, for no stated reason, rejected by the State Legislature, without following any conventions, laid-out procedures and not in conformity with the Constitutional provisions is patently arbitrary, unreasonable and unconstitutional, more so in the absence of any consensus among the people of the State."
1:20 pm: Telangana bill in RS at 4 pm
The Telangana bill will come up in Rajya Sabha at 4 pm, says a channel.
1:10 pm: Anurag Thakur calls Congress `undemocratic`
On microblogging website Twitter, BJP MP Anurag Thakur said:
First chaos & then a blackout in parliament. How undemocratic can the Congress get? #Telangana
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) February 19, 2014
12:24 pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 2 pm
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm after a TDP member protesting against Telangana snatched papers from Secretary General.
12:14 pm: Trinamool MPs at Raisina Hills
Trinamool MPs have reached Raisina Hills to meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Telangana.
11:15 am: Reddy addresses media, announces resignation
Addressing media, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy announced resignation “with heavy heart”. He further described it shameful that Telangana Bill was presented in the Lok Sabha like “robbers, hiding from people, putting off TV, throwing out those who were objecting.”
He also condemned that “for seats and votes, all political parties have done a lot of harm to Telugu people.” Quitting as the CM, MLA and member of the Congress, Reddy said the entire Congress high command in Delhi has betrayed Telugu people.
The BJP also conspired to harm Telugu people, striking a secret deal, added Reddy.
"I stayed on to fight against the bifurcation till the end," Kiran said when asked why he was stepping down at the last minute.
Soon after announcing his decision to quit, Kiran drove straight to the Raj Bhavan and handed over his resignation letter to Governor ESL Narasimhan.
"I have requested the Governor to make alternative arrangements at the earliest as I have no inclination to continue even as a caretaker," Kiran said.
11:12 am: Parliament adjourned till noon
Parliament was adjourned till noon after uproar over black out of Lok Sabha TV during Telangana debate in Lok Sabha and other issues.
10:48 am: Telangana state may come into existence by month-end
With the passage of a bill in Lok Sabha, formation of a separate Telangana state has almost become a reality. But there are still some formalities left to complete the entire process.
If all goes well, two states - Telangana and the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh, will come into existence by month-end, say political observers.
Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha amid pandemonium, will now go to Rajya Sabha. If any amendments to the bill are passed, it has to go again to Lok Sabha.
10:42 am: `No debate if RS telecast stopped`
Deputy leader of BJP in Rajya Sabha Ravi Shankar Prasad said that if the RS broadcast is stopped today, there will be no debate. The blackout of Lok Sabha proceeding on Tuesday was pre-planned and it undermined democratic principles, added Prasad.
9:45 am: Seemandhra shuts down
Normal life in Rayalaseema and coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh came to a halt on a shutdown call by YSR Congress party to protest the manner in which the bill for formation of separate Telangana state was passed in Lok Sabha.
Shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed while buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) went off the roads in all 13 districts of Seemandhra, as the two regions are collectively called.
Terming the passage of Telangana bill in Lok Sabha `murder of democracy`, YSR Congress has called for the shutdown. Seemandhra leaders of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) also called for a general strike.
8:10 am: Andhra Pradesh CM set to resign
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy will on Wednesday tender his resignation over the issue of bifurcation of the state. Three Andhra Pradesh ministers from Seemandhra resigned in protest on Tuesday.
Reddy will address his last press conference as the AP CM at around 10:30 am.
The CM will meet Governor ESL Narasimhan in the morning to submit his resignation.
8:00 am: YSR Congress calls for Seemandhra shutdown
YSR Congress party chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy described Tuesday as black day in India`s history and called for a shutdown in Seemandhra on Wednesday to protest the manner in which Telangana bill was passed in Lok Sabha.
After Lok Sabha passed Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2013, he told reporters that the live telecast of Parliament proceedings was cut off, television channels were shut and MPs representing the interests of Seemandhra were suspended.
Jagan, as the MP from Kadapa is popular among his supporters, compared Congress president Sonia Gandhi with Hitler. He remarked that such incidents perhaps did not happen even in Pakistan.
7:50 am: Govt plans to bring Telangana Bill in RS today
The government will on Wednesday bring the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill in Rajya Sabha, a day after the Lok Sabha passed the bill to carve out a Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh.
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill was passed by voice vote in the face of noisy protests by MPs from Seemandhra - as the other two regions (Rayalseema and coastal Andhra) are collectively known - as well as a section of the opposition parties.
If the bill also gets the approval of Rajya Sabha, the Telugu-speaking people will have two states with Telangana becoming India`s 29th state.
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