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Telangana Bill passed in LS amid chaos

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, Feb 18 � Amidst din, chaos and an unprecedented black out of televison coverage, the bill to carve out Telangana, the 29th state, by splitting Andhra Pradesh was today passed by the Lok Sabha with Congress and BJP coming together on the issue, reports PTI.

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 was adopted by a voice vote after Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj lent support to it in a debate in which other opposition leaders had no say.

The passage of the bill, after 90 minutes of ruckus through which the clause-by-clause amendments were piloted by Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, brings to fruition the process set in motion on the night of November 9, 2009 by the then Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Opposition leaders questioned the black out of live television coverage and attacked Speaker Meira Kumar�s decision, which was described by many as �unprecedented�.

The Lok Sabha�s decision was greeted with wild celebrations in Hyderabad, the nerve-centre of Telangana and the most sought after capital by the rival region of Seemandhra, where there were were protests.

Moments after the passage, YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy, who was suspended last week for disruptions in the House, declared an AP bandh tomorrow calling the decision a �black day� for the country. Democracy has been killed in broad day light, he said.

State Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, who belongs to Congress and has been resisting the division, may resign tomorrow and float a new party, according to a close aide of his in Hyderabad.

In the light of last week�s proceedings when Seemandhra MP L Rajagopal sprayed pepper and another MP broke mike 16 MPs were suspended.

The bill was introduced in the House on February 13 amid unprecedented scenes marked by fisticuffs, pepper spraying and breaking of House articles. The suspended MPs could not attend the House today.

The MPs from Seemandhra, a region comprising coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts, have been attacking the Centre�s move saying injustice was being done to them. The bill was being enacted in �undue haste� and that too in the last days of the 15th Lok Sabha, they contend.

Swaraj, who spoke as per an understanding with the government, said her party supports the creation of Telangana but attacked the way it was being done.

�I and my party support the Bill...Telangana should be formed...We rise to prove our credibility and to see wishes of youth of Telangana are fulfilled,� Swaraj said amid vociferous protest by members from CPI(M), Samajwadi Party and Trinamool Congress in the Well. Rejecting Kamal Nath�s charge that BJP was playing a double game by supporting the bill and also calling it unconstitutional, she told the media later that the provision giving law and order powers to the Governor was �unconstitutionall�.

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