NEW DELHI -- A "delay" in the setting up of a high court in Telangana had the Lok Sabha in knots on Tuesday, with several MPs demanding to be heard on the issue. They contended that the central government had not taken a decision on the issue despite several assurances in the past.
Protests were heard in the lower house soon after it assembled on Tuesday morning, led by members from the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). Speaker Sumitra Mahajan repeatedly requested them to stop raising slogans as it was hampering the house proceedings, but to no avail. Upset members of TRS even stormed the Well with placards, refusing to let proceedings go on.
"Please raise these concerns in the zero hour," she requested the TRS members and ultimately adjourned the house till 12 noon when they did not stop. "Please don't show all these things (placards)... They are not allowed."
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, which created Telangana, has a provision for a separate High Court in that state.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu told the house that the government is ready for a separate high court in Telangana, but said that the matter is sub judice as several public interest litigations have been filed. "The government is in favour of a separate High Court for Telangana but a case is going on...," he said.
Finally TRS members were allowed to raise the issue during the Zero Hour, but upset MPs stormed the Well again despite Law Minister Sadanand Gowda's assurance that he would try to find a solution soon.
When Gowda said on Tuesday that he would meet all MPs from Telangana within this fortnight, TRS leader Jithendra Reddy said, "What is the need of a discussion now? You need to take a decision."
While the law minister claimed that the government would like to set up a separate high court, but it was unable to do so until a judgment was made on the PIL filed on the matter at the Andhra Pradesh high court.
"The matter has become sub-judice. Because of this our hands are tied. As soon as the High Court decides... We are at it. Certainly, we will have a high court for Telangana at the earliest," Gowda said.
Gowda said that he had met chief ministers from both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and was planning on consulting the chief justice of the Andhra high court.
However, cries of "Parliament needs to be respected" were heard from TRS members, who remained agitated and dissatisfied with the replies.
(with agency inputs)