The historic Telangana bill to carve out a separate state out of Andhra Pradesh was today passed by Lok Sabha amid din and strong protests by members from Seemandhra region, including ministers.
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 was adopted by voice vote along with several official amendments, with main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coming on board.
Moving the Telangana bill for consideration and passage, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the Centre will give special financial package to Seemandhra, residual part of Andhra Pradesh, to address the grievances of the people of that region.
A number of amendments to the Telangana Bill moved by AIMIM member Asaduddin Owaisi and Trinamool Congress member Sougata Roy were negated.
Significantly, there was no live telecast by Lok Sabha TV for 90 minutes during clause by clause consideration of the Telangana Bill before its passage.
Many members protested the way the bill was passed in the din, saying it was against the democratic norms and a "black day" in the country's democracy.
The Telangana Bill was passed after a very brief discussion in which only Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj and minister Jaipal Reddy, a pro-Telangana leader from Andhra Pradesh, spoke.
The Telangana Bill was introduced in the House on February 13 amid unprecedented scenes marked by fisticuffs, pepper spraying and breaking of House articles. 16 MPs belonging to Seemandhra region were suspended and they could not attend the House today.
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 Telangana 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.
Charging Congress with mishandling the Telangana issue, she recalled that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA had created three states during its tenure at the Centre without any disruption in Parliament or in any region.
Accusing Congress of delaying the process of Telangana formation, the Leader of the Opposition said though the ruling party had promised Telangana way back in May 2004, it brought it at the fag end of the 15th Lok Sabha.
"You have been in power in the last ten years, but you did nothing. You just sat over it", she told Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
In the bill, which will