Lok Sabha disrupted over Telangana issue

New Delhi: Lok Sabha was adjourned till noon today as TRS members raised slogans for Telangana statehood, a demand which was endorsed by Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj who asked the government to list the steps taken by it on the issue.

As soon as the House met for the day, TRS members Vijayashanti and K Chandrasekhara Rao trooped to the Well waving banners demanding introduction of a bill to carve out a separate Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh.

The fresh protest came in the wake of suspension of eight Congress members from the region last week for disrupting the proceedings by raising the Telangana issue. TRS members were not present in the House then. Some BJP members from Bihar boycotted the Question Hour over the issue of setting up of a Central University in East Champaran district in the state.

Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the House soon after Swaraj sought a brief adjournment of the Question Hour to allow Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee to make a statement on on the issue of Telangana since the December 2009 assurance on formation of a separate state. Earlier, the Speaker continued with the Question Hour as the TRS members squatted in the Well and raised slogans.

As this continued for a while, Swaraj said she was very pained at the sight of members protesting in the Well despite questions being answered and pointed out that eight members have already been suspended on the issue.

Swaraj said the issue of separate Telangana has been agitating the minds of the people of the region and the protests by the two TRS members were a reflection of the popular demand. "These people have been waiting for the past two-and-a-half years since the Home Minister`s announcement on formation of the state on December 9, 2009," she said. Swaraj said the Opposition was ready to support a bill for a separate Telangana state if the government brought it in Parliament.

The Question Hour also saw some heated moments on the issue of revival of sick cotton mills in Kanpur and Mau region in Uttar Pradesh. The agitating members were pacified after Commerce Minister Anand Sharma promised to meet them separately on the issue. The Speaker also assured them that she would allow a short duration discussion on the issue if the members gave an appropriate notice.