LS witnesses repeated disruptions as TDP, YSR members protest
New Delhi: Vociferous protests by members of NDA ally Telugu Desam Party and the YSR Congress on Tuesday marred proceedings in the Lok Sabha even as the government termed their demands as "very sensitive" and gave an assurance that they would be looked into.
The House was briefly adjourned twice in a short period of time in the late afternoon amid continuous protest by members of TDP and the the YSR Congress.
The ties between the TDP and ruling BJP are strained, with the former publicly expressing unhappiness over the Union Budget not offering any special benefits to Andhra Pradesh. The MPs from Andhra Pradesh were demanding adequate allocation of funds and projects for the state.
Holding placards, TDP MPs were in the Well and raised slogans such as "We want justice" and "Andhra ke dard ko samjh lo, samjh lo" (understand the pain of Andhra Pradesh), "We demand Special Status for AP state" and "Announce railway zone now".
Soon after Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan asked Mallikarjun Kharge (Congress) to speak on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address, the lawmakers stood with placards.
Mahajan requested the MPs to go back to their seat and said this was not proper.
"From morning, I am requesting you. I am requesting you not to disturb the member. This is not fair. You cannot do this to any member as he is speaking," she said.
Shouting from his seat, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said the prime minister is siting in the House and keeping silence on the issue.
He said the state is being discriminated against and the prime minister should speak on this issue.
Kharge said the protest is government-sponsored and protesting members should stand on the other side.
However, he added that the government should implement the demands of Andhra Pradesh.
"Their genuine demands should be implemented by the government," Kharge said.
When Congress members urged the Speaker to ask protesting members not to stand with placards in front of their leaders, Mahajan remarked they must have learnt this from the main opposition party.
"Now you (Congress) can understand. You also do this," she said sarcastically.
When she advised Kharge to go to the back benches to speak, he wondered if she would have given a similar suggestion to the prime minister if he had faced a similar disturbance.
Earlier during Question Hour, the proceedings were adjourned for ten minutes till 1120 hours. Requesting the agitating MPs to allow discussion on the motion of thanks, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said, "Their (MPs) demands are very sensitive. The Prime Minister and the government of India are sensitive about development of Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, the matter they are raising will be looked into."
Earlier speaking on the motion, Pralhad Joshi (BJP), said the government has taken several steps to boost growth of the economy.
He also said the Karnataka government has "failed" to perform its duty and now people have understood this.