Speaker criticised

The manner in which the Lok Sabha Speaker conducted proceedings during passage of the Telangana Bill on Tuesday came under sharp criticism from a number of members.

Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy and AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi, who were the only leaders other than Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to move amendments to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, complained that the Speaker ignored their demand for a division when changes suggested by them were put to vote in the House. As there were unprecedented protests in the Lok Sabha when the bill was taken up, the Speaker invoked Rule 367 (3) of the Rules and Procedures to reject the demand for a division and asked members to stand up in support and against the amendments. Lok Sabha Secretariat officials then conducted a headcount.

“I wanted a division, not a headcount. I protest the manner in which you are counting the members. We are not sheep,” Ray said. Owaisi also protested against the headcount, but later appeared to have reconciled to reality.

Lok Sabha TV did not broadcast the proceedings while the Telangana Bill was passed, prompting protests from members.

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