Telangana was all set to become 29th state of the Union with Parliament tonight approving a historic bill to carve it out of Andhra Pradesh amid vociferous protests by members from Seemandhra region as also from Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena.
The suspense over the passage of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014 came to an end with BJP backing the government on it despite raising several concerns.
Apparently responding to demands from Seemandhra MPs as well as from BJP for "justice" to the region, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced a six-point development package for successor states of Andhra Pradesh including grant of special category status including tax incentives to Seemandhra.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi's request to the Prime Minister to give a special category status to Seemandhra for five years seems to have apparently clinched the issue and BJP came on board.
"I hope these additional announcements will demonstrate our steadfast commitment to not just the creation of Telangana but also to the continued prosperity and welfare of Seemandhra," Singh noted.
A protective cordon was thrown around Singh as well as Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde by Congress members as members from Seemandhra region as also those from TMC and Shiv Sena stormed the Well with TMC members even tearing papers and throwing them on the floor.
CPI-M members walked out in protest. The House looked like a virtual battle-ground during the five-hour proceedings, which saw seven adjournments as members resorted to slogan shouting and tore papers describing the bill passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday as illegal.
The debate also saw the government facing an awkward situation when Union Minister Chiranjeevi, who hails from Seemandhra region, opposed the decision on Telangna inviting ridicule from BJP, which wondered whether a member of the Council of Minister can oppose a decision taken by his own government without resigning from it.
As the bill appeared set to be a reality with most of the amendments moved by the BJP either negatived or withdrawn, CPI-M and Trinamool Congress alleged "nexus" between the ruling party and the main Opposition.
Minister Jairam Ramesh, who was a key person in the Telangana decision process as a member of the GoM on the issue, repeatedly made brief intervention to assuage the concerns of members on diverse issues.
Law Minister Kapil Sibal said time has come to create Telangana. "Time has come to take this historic decision...it is very difficult to satisfy all people of both