New Delhi: Amid protests from member of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and the Congress from Telangana, the Rajya Sabha on Monday gave its assent to the controversial Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill that allows transfer of seven mandals from Telangana to Andhra Pradesh.
The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last Friday amid vociferous protests from members belonging to the TRS, BJD and the Trinamool.
With the Rajya Sabha clearing the Bill through a voice vote, it will become a law once President Pranab Mukherjee signs it.
As the Bill was taken up for discussion, the lone TRS member in the Rajya Sabha K. Keshav Rao moved a statutory resolution demanding that the Bill and the resolution be taken up for discussion separately.
However, deputy chairman P.J. Kurien rejected the demand and ruled that it would be discussed together.
Mr Rao, supported by Congress members from Telangana, opposed the transfer of the seven mandals from Telangana to the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh for facilitation of the Polavaram irrigation project, saying that the ordinance issued to this effect was unconstitutional.
Intervening in the debate, home minister Rajnath Singh said most of these areas were parts of the East Godavari District and had been transferred in 1958 to Khammam district.
Rajya Sabha members from Andhra Pradesh, cutting along party lines, supported the Polavaram Bill with C.M. Ramesh (Telugu Desam) and K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao and K. Chiranjeevi (Congress) speaking in its favour, while members from Telangana V. Hanumantha Rao, Renuka Chowdry, Ananda Bhaskar and Palvai Govardhan Reddy opposed the Bill in its current form.
CPI MP D. Raja batted for changing the design of the Polavaram project so as to assuage the feelings of the people from Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
As the discussion ended, the Chair dismissed Mr Keshav Rao’s demand for division of votes and put the Bill through voice vote.
Amid noisy scenes, Congress MPs from Telangana walked out of the House in protest against the Bill....