New Delhi: The storm over Telangana resulted in unprecedented scenes in Parliament on Wednesday as the Minister of State for Railways Mr.Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy joined the protesters for a short while and obstructed the presentation of the interim railway budget.
The House was shocked to see MOS(Rlys.), Kotla Suryaprakash Reddy, among the Seemandhra ministers who gathered in the well and raised pro-samaikyandhra slogans particularly when Railway Minister M.Mallikarjuna Kharge began reading out the budget.
Kharge was even forced to cut short his speech when the protests by several ministers, including Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, D Purandeswari and K Chiranjeevi, threatened to drown out his voice.
Ministers M Pallam Raju and Killi Kruparani were seen supporting their colleagues by standing in their seats. YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy also joined the protesting Seemandhra MPs in the well, holding a placard that said: ‘Save Andhra Pradesh.’ Pro-Telangana MPs too protested in the well of the House.
With tempers running high, Manda Jagannath of the Congress and N Sivaprasad of the TDP were seen moving aggressively towards each other. But an ugly clash was averted by the alertness of JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy and Jagadambika Pal of the Congress. Some Seemandhra MPs even tore copies of the Telangana Bill and threw it at the railway minister. Elsewhere, some MPs from Telangana shielded the railway minister as well as UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Such was the pandemonium that Kharge abandoned his budget speech after 14 minutes, marking the first occasion when a railway minister was forced to lay on the table his budget speech, which was then taken as read. Amid the ruckus, Speaker Meira Kumar adjourned the house for the day.
As the ministers came under attack for their unruly behaviour, BJP leaders pulled up the Congress for its failure to rein its members. BJP spokesman Prakash Javdekar asked the Congress to sack the protesting ministers. “We want Telangana. We also want justice for Seemandhra,” he said.
But Union minister of state for tourism, Chiranjeevi, justified the protest. “While we abide by the decision taken by the Congress Working Committee (CWC) to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh, we want equal justice to the regions being divided. We had demanded that Hyderabad be made Union Territory, but our demand has not been met,” he said.
“If I am a minister that does not mean that I cannot voice the anguish of my people. I was forced to register my protest as the division is being carried out in an unfair manner,” his colleague Kavuri Sambasiva Rao said.
Purandeswari added that she was ready to quit and it would make no difference to her if the Prime Minister sacks her.