The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned for the day without being able to take up the Telangana bill that the Lok Sabha approved on Tuesday under controversial circumstances, with live telecast cut off.
The BJP wants a constitutional amendment in the Bill, which would not only require two thirds majority to clear, but will also need to go back to the lower house for ratification. It has sought a total of 20 amendments to help pass the bill in the Rajya Sabha.
There are two days remaining of this the last session of Parliament before national elections due by May.
Sources say Congress President and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has requested the PM to give special category status to Seemandhra. This is being seen as an attempt to meet half way the BJP’s demands for a special package.
The BJP had helped pass the bill in the Lok Sabha. Now it wants a constitutional amendment to empower a common governor to be custodian of security for the 10 years that the two states will share a common capital in Hyderabad. It also wants included a compensation package for Seemandhra, the non-Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh which fears a smaller share of water, power and revenue once the new state is carved out.
The government must pass the bill in both Houses of Parliament by Friday. Disruptions have continued in both houses.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reached out to the BJP, meeting senior leaders Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu to break the impasse.
The BJP has asked the Rajya Sabha chairman to ensure proper discussion on the bill. It wants to ensure all parties get a chance to debate the bill, unlike the way it was passed in the Lok Sabha yesterday with many parties protesting. Union minister Rajeev Shukla on will bring introduce the bill in the Upper House on Thursday.
Kiran Kumar Reddy resigned as Chief Minister and quit his Congress party. “Linking the bifurcation of the state to political gains is wrong,” Mr. Reddy said. “I tried my best to prevent Telangana. Sorry, I couldn’t.”
Union minister P Chidambaram told that Mr. Reddy should have been asked to resign “much sooner.”
Protests against Telangana took an ugly turn in the Rajya Sabha, as a TDP MP, C Ramesh, tried to snatch papers from the Secretary General, and ended up hitting him on the chin. The MP apologised to the house later. There were repeated disruptions in both houses.