New Delhi, Apr 24 - Repeated disruptions in Lok Sabha by Congress members from Andhra Pradesh over Telangana issue and suspension of eight MPs saw BJP and Left parties hitting out at the government for this unprecedented situation while the ruling party justified its stand.
BJP maintained that suspension of the eight Congress MPs for demanding a separate Telangana was an unprecedented event which had embarrassed the government as these legislators were speaking against their own party and its indecision on the issue.
"This is an unprecedented and extraordinary incident where the ruling party had to suspend its own members for not allowing the House to function. Never in the history of Parliament has such an event occurred before. But the situation arose as the government did not fulfill its election promise to form Telangana," Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj told reporters.
Narrating the sequence of events, Swaraj said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal had met her earlier to seek opposition support to a government resolution seeking suspension of the eight Congress MPs from the Andhra Pradesh as they were not allowing the House to function.
BJP voted in favour of the resolution. When pointed out that her party has promised to support any Bill on formation of Telangana but had voted for suspension of these MPs pressing for the same demand, Swaraj said BJP is committed to its stand but at the same time does not want to permit disruptions which would prevent conduct of other business.
"These Congress MPs were demanding implementation of the UPA coalition's promise of creating Telangana. They were protesting against their own party in the presence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. This government can neither manage its MPs nor fulfill its promises," Swaraj said.
Swaraj said Home Minister P Chidambaram had announced on December 9, 2009 that the government was committed to formation of Telangana but though two and a half years have passed no progress has been made.
BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said the Congress party as well as the government have lost all respect as its own MPs were defying their diktat.
"The (Congress) members are not in control even in the presence of the Congress President. Congress should reply whether it has hold over its Parliamentary party... a lot of time of the House has been wasted by members of the ruling party," Hussain said.
BJP veteran Jaswant Singh said, "it is a matter of great regret and shame because of continuous disruptions, sadly by members of the ruling party, issues of concern could not be raised."
The Left termed the suspension of Congress MPs as "unprecedented" and blamed the ruling party for the impasse over the statehood issue.
"In 1988, 50-55 Opposition members were suspended. They included even those who were not present in the House. But this is the first time that ruling party members are being suspended by the ruling party itself. I have never seen this happening during my long tenure. It is unprecedented," senior CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia said. PTI