BJP forces Rajya Sabha adjournment on Telangana issue


New Delhi : Saying that the condition of fasting Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leader K. Chandrasekhara Rao was “very, very serious”, BJP MPs in the Rajya Sabhya Wednesday vociferously demanded a statement on the issue from the government and shouted slogans, forcing adjournment of the house.

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The issue rocked the house for 20 minutes and Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who was present throughout, sat silent through the proceedings.

Raising the issue during zero hour, Bharatiya Janata Party leader M. Venkaiah Naidu said: “I was in Hyderabad yesterday and the doctors told me that his (Chandrasekhara Rao’s) condition was very, very serious and unless he takes medicine or food, the situation will go out of hand. I want to draw the attention of the govenment to this. Why is the government silent?”

“It is an emotional and serious issue. The home minister is in the house. Why doesn’t he make a statement,” added his party colleague S.S. Ahluwalia.

Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan attempted to placate the two MPs by saying that they had conveyed their concern to the government but this did not have any effect. Naidu continued to remain on his feet, saying: “If a policy decision is not taken (on Chandrasekhara Rao’s demand for carving out a separate state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh), the situation will go out of control.”

“You have conveyed your concern, what else can I do,” Khan asked.

Countered Naidu: “I am not asking the chair to make a statement. I am asking the home minister to respond. Last week, his cabinet colleague (Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni) had assured the house that she would convey our concerns to the prime minister and the home minister. What are the prime minister and the home minister doing?”

The deputy chairman, however, stood his ground saying he couldn’t “direct” the government to make a statement but had no objections if it wished to respond.

Ahluwalia then stepped into the fray once again, asking: “Will the home minister assure the house that he will come back to the house and make a statement?”

As he spoke, BJP backbenchers led by Rudra Narayan Pany and Prakash Javadekar advanced to the podium and raised slogans demanding that the government make clear its stance on Telangana, even as Naidu and Ahluwalia remained standing at their respective places.

In the midst of the din, Khan called on three MPs to make their special mentions and at 12.20 p.m. adjourned the house for 15 minutes.

When the house reassembled, the deputy chairman called on Amar Singh of the Samajwadi Party to initiate a short duration discussion on the Liberhan Commission report on the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid.

As Chandrasekhara Rao’s condition deteriorated on the 11th day of his fast-unto-death Wednesday, tension spiralled in the Telangana region with prohibitory orders being imposed and police taking control of universities to quell protests for a separate state.

Prohibitory orders banning the assembly of five or more people were imposed in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

For the second consecutive day, TRS stalled the proceedings of the state assembly Wednesday demanding that it pass a resolution for a separate state of Telangana.

Chief Minister K. Rosaiah told the house that the central government was considering the issue of a separate Telangana and that it should be given time.