Lok Sabha passes Telangana bill

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde moved the bill to create a separate state of Telangana in the Lok Sabha amid din in the house.

NEW DELHI: The bill seeking the creation of a separate Telangana state was passed on Tuesday in the Lok Sabha by a voice vote amid din in the house.

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill was passed by voice vote in the face of noisy protests by Andhra Pradesh MPs opposed to Telangana as well as a section of the opposition parties.

The critics, including at least one Congress cabinet minister and CPI-M members, gathered near Speaker Meira Kumar screaming slogans against Andhra Pradesh's bifurcation but they were ignored.

A fuming YS Jaganmohan Reddy, leader of the YSR Congress, called it "a black day" in the history of India and announced a general strike in Andhra Pradesh Wednesday.

"The bill was passed in parliament today against the will of the (Andhra) assembly, against the will of the people of Andhra Prdesh," he told the media.

However the amendment to make Hyderabad capital of Telangana defeated by voice vote in Lok Sabha.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Seemandhra will be given special package.

The telecast of the Lok Sabha proceedings debating the Telangana bill was stopped on the request of speaker Meira Kumar, which was criticised by those opposing the Telangana bill.

TDP MP YS Chowdhary said: 'Meira Kumar has ruined the name of her father who did such great things for the country. Congress is doing dirty politics. The Speaker acted as agent of Congress. Everytime they want to pass a bill will they stop telecast of Parliament?'

Andhra minister, three legislators quit

A cabinet minister and three legislators of the ruling Congress party in Andhra Pradesh resigned to protest the state's proposed bifurcation.

Infrastructure Minister G. Srinivasa Rao resigned both from the cabinet and the party. He faxed his resignation letter to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan, his aides said.

Two legislators from Seemandhra also resigned in protest against the central government's move to go ahead with the formation of a separate Telangana state.

Earlier in the day, Sushilkumar Shinde moved the bill to create a separate state of Telangana in the Lok Sabha.

Soon after the house resumed its proceedings after the first adjournment in the morning, members opposing bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, including some union ministers, came near the speaker's podium.

Members of other parties including the DMK, CPI-M and Samajwadi Party, also sought to raise their issues.

Members supporting creation of a separate state of Telangana also moved near the podium.

Meanwhile, to protest the passage of the bill, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy may resign over the issue of bifurcation of the state.

Law minister E Pratap Reddy confirmed that the chief minister would put in his papers as the central government is going ahead with the process for formation of separate Telangana state.

"He will definitely resign," the minister told reporters after meeting the chief minister.

The minister also indicated that Kiran Reddy may float a new political party.

Kiran Reddy, who has defied the Congress leadership openly over Telangana issue, was holding consultations with ministers and legislators from Seemandhra.