Ruckus in the Rajya Sabha as anti-Telangana MPs protest
New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha has passed the controversial bill that makes Telangana India's 29th state, bifurcating Andhra Pradesh.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a special package for Seemandhra, a region that is the residuary state.
Here are the 10 latest developments in the Telangana story:
- The bill will now be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for his approval. Telangana will then be notified as India's 29th state.
- A jubilant K Chandrasekhar Rao, whose party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, spearheaded the campaign for a separate state, will be meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi tomorrow to thank her for pushing the bill through. A call on merging his party with the Congress will be taken after the meeting, he told NDTV.
- As he spoke in the Rajya Sabha, the PM could barely be heard above slogans like "tear the bill, throw the bill". MPs of different parties were in the well as the house votes on the bill clause by clause. Trinamool MP Sukhendu Ray tore papers as the PM spoke.
- Speaking before the PM, the BJP's Arun Jaitley expressed concern over whether the legislation adequately addresses the concerns of Seemandhra. The party did not press for the constitutional amendment it had sought to empower a common governor to be custodian of security for the 10 years that the two states will share a common capital in Hyderabad.
- The Prime Minister had met senior BJP leaders in the chamber of party veteran LK Advani earlier today to work out an agreement. With the BJP not pressing for changes, the bill will not have to be sent back to the Lok Sabha after the Rajya Sabha passes it.
- Posters dotted the Rajya Sabha - some demanding a united Andhra Pradesh, others that the Telangana bill be passed and some, held by parties like the Trinamool Congress, that proclaimed, "Illegal Bill from Lok Sabha." This refers to the hurried manner in which the bill was pushed through the lower house on Tuesday by voice vote amid a controversial TV blackout.
- Earlier, As Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde introduced the bill today, MPs from Telangana formed a human shield around him while those from Seemandhra and vehemently opposed to the split, rushed into the well of the house and jostled with them to try and prevent the tabling.
- The main bone of contention between the two regions is Hyderabad, the thriving IT hub, which will serve as a common capital before becoming the Telangana capital in 10 years. Seemandhra will then have to look for another capital - people in the region say no other city in Andhra Pradesh has the advantages that Hyderabad has.
- The Congress wants to rush through the Telangana plan with an eye on political gains from the region in the national elections.
- Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned from the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister's post yesterday in protest against the UPA government's decision to push the statehood bill. He also relinquished the membership of the state assembly and the Congress party.