TDP's dramatic protest after Parl adjourns; MPs marshalled out 5 hrs later

TDP's dramatic protest after Parl adjourns; MPs marshalled out 5 hrs later

Telugu Desam Party MPs on Thursday sprang a surprise by refusing to leave Rajya Sabha even after the House adjourned, while their colleagues in Lok Sabha sat on a dharna inside the iconic Central Hall of Parliament demanding an announcement on special category status for Andhra Pradesh.

High drama prevailed for close to five hours, until the MPs were marshalled out around 8.20 pm.

Soon after the ejection, TDP MP C M Ramesh said, "Marshals dragged us out like cattle. This is an insult to people of Andhra Pradesh. Our protest will intensify."

The TDP's dramatic protest came a day before nine MPs of YSR Congress are set to resign from Lok Sabha on the last day of the Budget Session on Friday and begin an indefinite hunger strike at Andhra Bhavan.

TDP outwits  Jagan

Thursday's protest inside Parliament was seen as an attempt by the Chandrababu Naidu-led TDP to outwit rival Y S Jaganmohan Reddy in the ongoing political fight.

The TDP MPs began their day  by participating in an Opposition human chain protest inside Parliament premises. In Rajya Sabha, they rushed to the well along with other Opposition members, after which the House was adjourned till 2 PM. The House re-assembled only to be adjourned for the day around 2:45 pm.

However, five TDP MPs led by Y S Chowdary did not leave the House even as other lawmakers made an exit. Holding placards and shouting slogans, the MPs occupied   the front row.

LS MPs join

In Lok Sabha, the TDP MPs, who had left Parliament as the Lower House was adjourned earlier, rushed back and occupied the Central Hall to express solidarity with their   Rajya Sabha counterparts.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu sent his officers to request the protesting MPs to leave. Deputy Chairman P J Kurien went in person to persuade the agitating members. Rajya Sabha Secretary General Desh Deepak Verma and senior official A A Rao also made vain attempts to convince the TDP MPs to quit.

Unrelenting, the MPs said they would leave only after the Centre conceded their demands. Some members took ill as their blood pressure shot up and doctors rushed to the House to examine them. One Lok Sabha MP, Avanti Srinivas, was taken to hospital.