Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned on Thursday for the fourth day in a row, as members of the Telugu Desam Party, an ally of the National Democratic Alliance, continued to disrupt proceedings over their demand for special status for Andhra Pradesh.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned at noon after protests by the TDP members and by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MPs from Tamil Nadu calling for a Cauvery management board to be set up.
The Rajya Sabha was first adjourned till 2 pm. It reconvened only to be adjourned soon after, amid sloganeering and protests.
However, unlike the Lower House, the Rajya Sabha managed to have a one-hour discussion, with members speaking about the achievements of women in India and ways to ensure their development on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad remarked that it was nice to see the House cutting across party lines for the discussion.
However, the discussion did not lead to any concrete plans.
In the Lok Sabha, Telugu Desam Party legislators stormed the Well of the House waving placards and shouting slogans. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananthkumar requested the Speaker to continue with Question Hour even as protests continued in the Lower House. “We are ready to discuss irregularities in banking sector,” he said.
However, when the commotion continued, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan adjourned the proceedings till 12 pm. When the House reconvened, the uproar continued and the session was adjourned for the day.
The demand for special status for Andhra Pradesh also prompted YSR Congress MPs to protest outside Parliament. Meanwhile, AIADMK legislators staged a demonstration in front of Mahatma Gandhi’s statue inside Parliament premises demanding the formation of the Cauvery management board.
On Wednesday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said the Telugu Desam Party has asked its legislators to resign from the Union Cabinet. The Bharatiya Janata Party has failed to reach out to the TDP on the special category status issue, the chief minister said, adding that the party will take a decision on the alliance soon. On Thursday afternoon, two TDP MPs – Union aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju and YS Chowdary – met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and handed over their resignations.
The TDP, however, said it will decide soon whether it will leave the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.