Home India Politics Chidambaram defends Telangana announcement

Chidambaram defends Telangana announcement


New Delhi : The Telangana issue rocked the Rajya Sabha twice Thursday with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accusing Home Minister P. Chidambaram of breach of propriety for having made a public announcement on the issue when parliament was in session.

Calm was restored only after Chidambaram said he had no option but to make the late night announcement on Wednesday, setting in motion the process of carving a Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh.

“When he (M. Venkaiah Nadu of the BJP) raised the issue in the house yesterday, the government was not in a position to respond as consultations were still underway. When the consultations were completed very late at night, we couldn’t brook any delay (in making the announcement),” Chidambaram said after the BJP raised the issue for the second time during zero hour after having raised it during question hour.

“What I said (Wednesday night) is a restatement of the earlier stand of the government which is well known. It was necessary to persuade (Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief) K. Chandrasekhar Rao to call off his fast and to restore normalcy in the state. I am glad to report that normalcy has been by and large restored.

“Shri Chandrasekhar Rao has spoken to me and thanked the house for its concern (over his deteriorating condition on the 11th day of his fast unto death Wednesday to demand a separate Telangana),” the home minister added.

Chidambaram prefaced his remarks by saying that he was prepared to make a statement “if that will be the end of the matter. I am not ready for a debate on this”.

Raising the issue during zero hour, Naidu said: “I wish to draw the attention of the house to a question of propriety. He (Chidambaram) should have taken parliament into confidence. Is this the way of showing respect to parliament?”

“I am saying this with all humility that it is the duty of every member of the house to raise the issue when there is a breach of propriety. What for is this house there? Everything can be discussed outside.”

Deputy Chairman K. Rahman Khan said: “You have raised a point. Serve notice and I will examine it. What (else) do you want me to do?”

“Advise the minister (to make a statement),” Naidu retorted.

“The government has taken note (of your sentiments),” Khan said.

Chidambaram then got up and offered to make a statement.

When Naidu had spoken in similar vein earlier when the house assembled, Chairman Hamid Ansari told him: “Members are well aware of the constitution. Nothing will be done without the consent of this house… There can be no legislation without the consent of this house.”

The protest continued for five minutes before Ansari managed to restore order in the house and proceeded with the question hour.

The BJP had forced 15 minutes adjournment of the house on the issue Wednesday.

Following pressure and fearing for the deteriorating condition of the TRS chief, who had been on a fast-unto-death for 11 days, the central government late Wednesday pledged to form a separate Telangana state carved out of 10 districts of Andhra Pradesh.