Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Telangana Bill passed

Lok Sabha passed Telangana Bill on 18/2/2014. Rajya Sabha passed Telangana Bill on 20/2/2014. In preceding days MPs opposed to formation of Telangana had disrupted proceedings. In Lok Sabha Lagadapati Rajagopal had sprayed pepper. His act brought into prominence his connection to Lanco, Lanco’s 36,558 crore rupees debt and corporate debt restructuring. N. Kiran Kumar Reddy sat on dharna at Jantar Mantar. He resigned as chief minister after Lok Sabha passed the bill. Jaganmohan Reddy said Indian National Congress has become Italian National Congress. Delhi became battleground for and against Telangana. At last the government decided to act tough. Meira Kumar suspended trouble makers. There was black out of Lok Sabha.
Some condemned black out. They called it murder of democracy and worse than emergency. They are wrong. There is no law that says there has to be live uninterrupted telecast of Lok Sabha proceedings. Murder of democracy is when MPs do not let the Houses to function. Journalists were present in press gallery and they witnessed and reported Lok Sabha proceedings.
DD used to telecast parliamentary proceedings. Lok Sabha TV came into existence when Somnath Chatterjee became Speaker. Rajya Sabha TV came into existence when Hamid Ansari became Vice President and Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
In Rajya Sabha tourism minister Chiranjeevi spoke against the bill. Arun Jaitley raised a point of order and asked whether it was permissible for a minister to speak against a bill the presence of prime minister. Deputy Chairman P. J. Kurien ruled that he left it to the minister to decide it was ethical or not. TMC members shouted slogans when Manmohan Singh spoke. CPI(M), DMK, JD(U) and BJD members walked out during the discussion.
Some Telangana leaders said it was not division but demerger. There was Telangana state which was merged with Andhra Pradesh in 1956. They are not exactly right. There was Hyderabad state which consisted of Telangana and some Kannada and Marathi districts. Kannada districts went to Mysore which changed its name to Karnataka in 1973. Marathi districts went to Bombay which was split into Maharashtra and Gujarat in 1960. Telangana could have been a separate state in 1956 or could have continued as Hyderabad state without Kannada and Marathi districts.
Many politicians opposed Telangana because they had property in Hyderabad. They wanted Hyderabad to be a Union Territory. For most people of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema, separation of Telangana will not make any difference.
Making Hyderabad joint capital for 10 years with the Governor having law and order powers in Hyderabad is a bad idea. BJP should have raised the issue in Lok Sabha. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana should have separate capitals, Governors, and High Courts.
There are many statehood demands in India. People who want statehood for Gorkhaland, VIdarbha, Harit Pradesh, Bundelkhand etc are likely to hold demonstrations in Delhi. Mayawati has demanded division of Uttar Pradesh in four states. When she was chief minister of UP, Legislative Assembly of UP had thrice passed resolutions for division.

Updated: February 22, 2014 — 8:19 am

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