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Lok Sabha disrupted over Polavaram irrigation project

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-06-2014 Liz Mathew

New Delhi: The 16th Lok Sabha saw its first disruption on Monday, with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) members storming the well of the House to protest against the Narendra Modi-led government’s move to issue an ordinance over the Polavaram irrigation project.

As members assembled after the President’s address, the members of Parliament (MPs) stood up shouting “Jai Telangana” and raised banners reading “stop anti-tribal Polavaram”.

TRS leader and chief minister of the newly-formed Telangana state, K. Chandrasekhar Rao has stated that his party will oppose the ordinance. The party maintains that a consensus among the four stakeholder states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha is necessary before going ahead with the irrigation project.

About 17 MPs, including some from YSR Congress and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) also were off their seats. The members did not relent despite warnings from speaker Sumitra Mahajan, who urged them to raise the matter during a discussion on the ordinance, which is expected to be tabled later this week.

“Please go to your seats. This is not fair. This is not the time. When ordinance will come up for discussion, you can raise the issue...you know the procedure...that time, I will allow full discussion, but not in this way,” Mahajan told the agitating members. She adjourned the proceedings after the treasury benches tabled the papers listed in the business. BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab also attempted to raise the issue in the commotion.

Last month, the government had promulgated an ordinance merging some villages and division of Telangana into Seemandhra in a bid to deal with resettlement and rehabilitation of those displaced by the Polavaram project.

The ordinance aims at facilitating smooth resettlement and rehabilitation on part of the multipurpose project which will help in irrigation and power generation.

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