Lok Sabha adjourns briefly amid protests by TDP members
NEW DELHI: Vociferous protests by members of NDA ally Telugu Desam Party today forced brief adjournment of Lok Sabha proceedings as they demanded special facilities for Andhra Pradesh. The YSR Congress also joined the protests in the Well of the House and raised slogans despite repeated requests by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan urging them to go back to their seats. With agitated members continuing their protests during Question Hour, the proceedings were adjourned for ten minutes till 1120 hours. The TDP, which is the BJP’s biggest ally in the south, is “disappointed” that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s budget did not address the state’s needs. “Please go to your seats. This is not the way,” Ms Mahajan was heard saying before adjourning the House for ten minutes. There were around 10 members from TDP and YSR Congress in the Well. In a novel protest, one of the members had tied a tuft of his hair with a red ribbon. Wearing a garland, he was also seen using ‘kartal’, a musical instrument generally used while singing bhajans. Soon after proceedings began at 1120 hours, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar was seen talking to some of the protesting members. Many members in the Well were holding placards with slogans such as ‘Save AP Save Democracy’, ‘Follow Alliance Dharma Now’ and ‘We demand Special Status for AP state’. Earlier this week, the TDP vowed to continue to press the Centre for various allocations to Andhra Pradesh. After Question Hour also, Mahajan asked the protesting members to go back to their seats but in vain and also termed their behaviour as “unruly”.