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My heart bleeds over these scenes: PM on Telangana protests
February 12, 2014, 10:55 am

The proposal to divide Andhra Pradesh and carve out a state of Telangana led to ugly and embarrassing scenes in Parliament today.

"My heart bleeds to see what is happening in the house. It is sad for democracy," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, moments after two parliamentarians from the Congress and the regional Telugu Desam Party nearly came to blows in the Lok Sabha and had to be held back by other lawmakers.

Four union ministers were seen rushing towards the Speaker's chair to protest over the planned bifurcation of their state. KS Rao, D Purandeswari, Chiranjeevi and K Surya Prakash Reddy - the ministers who were protesting - belong to the non-Telangana regions of Seemandhra which are vehemently opposed to the division of Andhra Pradesh.

Congress MP Madhu Yakshi Goud stood protectively near Sonia Gandhi as loud protests and shouting drowned out Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge's speech on his department's interim budget.

Similar protests forced both houses to adjourn within minutes this morning. Members in the Rajya Sabha tore papers and held up placards near the chairman's chair for the third straight day; many of them have been named and shamed for disrupting house incessantly.

Yesterday, the Congress expelled six parliamentarians for moving a no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister over the Telangana proposal. The party's move is meant to signal that it will not tolerate internal dissent over its decision.

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